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Original article published in Spanish on ESADE's ESocialHub

15th March 2017. Lorena Crusellas, Programme Coordinator for the Prevenir Association, started to measure the impact of their work in 2011. At the time it was impossible to imagine the effect this was going to have on the work of this small association with nine employees and an annual budget of 160,000 euros that today works in Spain and Portugal.

Why is it important for your organisation to measure its social impact?

Our work could not be understood today if it did not include measuring, transversally, the social impact we generate. We have seen for ourselves the benefits of identifying and developing our own indicators of results and impacts in our daily work and, more specifically, in our fundraising work. Measuring our social impact has led to a new fundraising strategy which has allowed us to raise more funds of a private nature, especially in this last phase of the economic crisis.

Why did you start measuring your impact?

 It all began with the evaluation of the social impact of the project “I’ll pass…” funded in 2011 by the Fundacion EDP, the Oeiras municipality and the Sumol+Compal company. Impact measurement was one of the requirements to get funding for this project whose objective was to promote a healthy lifestyle among 1200 youngsters from 11 to 15yrs. old.

What has been the main benefit obtained by measuring your social impact?

The main benefit can probably be found in the change in our language. We have gone from the original, more conceptual and, up to a certain point, vague discourse to speaking about our work in a clear and structured way. Now all the members of the team are capable of defining simple, concrete indicators and adjusting them to other programmes with similar impact maps. For example: before, our reports spoke of improving health by encouraging a balanced diet amongst the youngsters but lacked data that really showed a behavioural change in them. Now, thanks to the impact indicators, we can pick up on that behavioural change in a concrete way.

How has impact measurement influenced your fundraising?

There have been various benefits in the fundraising field. Perhaps the most important has been working with an external consultancy which has helped us build the models necessary for measuring the social impact of our programmes. That has provided us, I would say, with a hallmark of quality which has given us the strength and confidence to change our image on the one hand and our way of approaching our meetings with possible donors on the other. Since 2011 we can speak with propriety about the results obtained when we meet with new funders such as the Obra Social de la Caixa or the Spanish health authorities. It is a hallmark which provides an internationally recognised methodology of impact measurement and introduces us to a language more common to other funders with whom we were not previously familiar.

The space between a grantmaker and its grantees

Speaker: John Harvey, GEIR


Moderator: Cláudia Pedra, Stone Soup Consulting

When: October 27th at 2.30pm (GMT)

 

The GEIR, Grantee Experience and Insight Review, is an innovative evaluation protocol that provides grantees with the exceptional opportunity to confidentially and safely provide honest feedback on their funders. John Harvey, GEIR Founding Principal, will present this new methodology aiming at generating honest and succesful relationships between grantmakers and grantees. 

How is the GEIR different from other grantee feedback evaluations currently in the market? “It gives grantees a voice on issues they are normally silent on, it’s a critical stepping stone to enabling relationships of openness, trust and mutuality,” John Harvey. Aimed at European foundations and other stakeholders involved in evaluation programmes, the goal of this webinar is to have a better understanding of the Grantee Experience and Insight Review.

Join us for this webinar organised by Stone Soup Consulting and GEIR, under the framework of our partnership to advance GEIR.

This webinar will offer a free and open discussion and will explore the different ways that your team can deploy this innovative protocol.

Register now!

What are the ingredients for faster change?
Original article published in Spanish on Diario Responsable, September 16th 2016


The 9th Convergences World Forum, held in Paris on 5-7 September, gathered approximately 7000 international professionals for exchanges and discussions on how to co-construct a Triple Zero world. Centered around the theme “Inventing Tomorrow’s Sustainable Cities and Territories”, the Forum aimed at deepening this objective by reflecting on the role of local actors and on ways to catalyse, support and replicate the most innovative initiatives. The ambitious commitments taken by the international community on sustainable development with the 2030 Agenda, on climate with the COP 21 on climate, and on humanitarian aid with the World Humanitarian Summit call for more action, more effectiveness and, crucial as well, for more entrepreneurship, creativity and convergence.

The power of converging

One of the major strengths of this Forum is its vision and ability to serve as a sounding board for a great diversity of initiatives and actors who want to move in the direction of a Triple Zero world. It should be noted that Convergences is mainly made by and participated by the French, but its effort to integrate voices from other more contrasting realities and thinking globally is undeniably central. For Stone Soup, it is a must go spot to meet, exchange and articulate with change makers for sustainable development and the social and solidarity economy.

At the forum, co-construction was the buzzword for action toward sustainable development. The size of the task ahead certainly requires engagement and a collective effort of all stakeholders. At Convergences, there is remarkable awareness and creativity at play to boost the power of convergence. It is not just another conference where exchanges hardly occur. Attendees and participants seem to agree that meeting and exchanging favours the identification and articulation of innovations that can be brought to the ground, not just in France and francophone countries but around the world as well. 

 

By Cláudia Pedra, Managing Partner.

Stone Soup Consulting’s first ever Honesty Report has to start, obviously, by explaining why it has such an outlandish name. Shouldn’t a social consultancy working on increasing impact be producing an Impact Report and not an Honesty Report? Is there a difference?.

We are borrowing the expression “Honesty Report” from Leonora Buckland and Caroline Fiennes’ work on reporting. We apologise for this, but it was too good to let it pass. Too good because when we were thinking of such a report we wanted it to be truthful and sincere, free of deceit, which is exactly how the Oxford Dictionary defines honesty.   

Our idea is to showcase the impact of Stone Soup Consulting‘s work. Impact on organisations and on people; all impact, not only the positive impact, which of course everyone loves to show. The tough reality is that to be honest you have to show the good, the bad and the ugly. In this report we try to do exactly that. We do not sugarcoat our lack of impact in such areas. We are even honest about what we did not track, although we are experts in measuring impact. From failure comes change, innovation and improvement. In eight years, from September 2008 to August 2016, we have worked on 89 projects with 66 clients. We have also given many trainings. We have developed a network of over 40 consultants in 10 countries and worked in Europe, Latin America and Northern Africa. We have worked with social entrepreneurs, small cooperatives, large and tiny NGOs, foundations, town halls, universities and companies.

Stone Soup Consulting works with Zaragoza Activa, the public institution that leads La Colaboradora, in the internationalisation of its social innovation projects.  

Por: Pilar Balet

La Colaboradora, un proyecto de innovación social de Zaragoza Activa en el que 200 emprendedores se organizan alrededor de un banco del tiempo, es finalista a los Premios Eurocities 2016, una red de 130 ciudades europeas fundada en 1986 cuyos gobiernos representan a más de 130 millones de personas. 

“La Colaboradora es un espacio real de inteligencia colectiva donde una comunidad de más de doscientos miembros trabaja en proyectos empresariales, sociales y creativos y donde intercambian ideas, servicios y conocimiento a través de un banco del tiempo”. Estas fueron, más o menos, las palabras que utilizamos para presentar este proyecto a los Premios Eurocities 2016  a principios del mes de junio. Y parece que les gustó.

En ese mismo par de folios también escribimos sobre lo fácil y lo difícil que han sido estos tres años de trabajo, sobre los errores y los aciertos en la gestión de un proyecto público de estas características. Hablamos del dinero que cuesta, de la crisis económica, de su sostenibilidad, de las elecciones locales de 2015 y del riesgo de depender de los presupuestos públicos. Pero, sobre todo, hablamos de lo más importante: del por qué este proyecto público es necesario y de lo que hace que La Colaboradora despierte la curiosidad de todos los que se asoman a su puerta de cristal. Hablamos de la comunidad, de la gente que la conforma y de lo importante que son el contacto humano y la confianza para que un proyecto de innovación social e inteligencia colectiva, como lo llaman, despegue y empiece a volar. Y además, del reto de lograr que la gente que ya lleva años compartiendo su tiempo y conectando quiera quedarse.

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