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Call for respondents to an ICAS-funded survey on impact measurement and reporting practice by charities

Added: 11/01/2022


We are calling on charity trustees and staff to help us explore how charities could better measure and report on their impact – the difference they are making towards their causes – by responding to a short survey

Measuring and communicating the social difference or impact that charities make is essential to their continuance. Donors will be more likely to provide resources to charities that are clear about their impact; charities will better understand what works and where improvements are needed when they define, measure and report their impact; and in turn, beneficiaries will likely receive enhanced services when that impact is clear.

A research project by Cardiff University and Victoria University of Wellington is exploring the impact practice of charities: How they seek to measure and report on their impact. Today the project team is launching an online survey seeking the views of all charities in the sector on this important topic.

While charities have high social and environmental impact, and while they are expected to recognise and communicate this to their supporters, ‘impact’ itself can be very difficult to define, measure and report.

‘ Charities can be an important force for good in our society, but they often struggle to communicate their impact effectively’. 

– Professor Carolyn Cordery, Victoria University of Wellington


The Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) contains a small amount of guidance on reporting impact, but impact measurement has been evolving quickly with some charities using new methods and others not knowing where to turn.

This research project has the potential to influence the development of impact practice in the sector and inform the revised Charities SORP that will come into effect for reporting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2024. Enhanced SORP guidance, it is hoped, will help charities to embed impact practice – impact measurement and reporting – and effectively convey the difference they are making to the lives of beneficiaries and society more generally.

To inform sector development and the next edition Charities SORP, it is critical to understand charities’ current (internal) impact measurement practices, and how practice is being translated into (external) impact reporting in the trustees’ annual report.

Your support is invaluable in gathering those views ̶ whether your charity measures and reports its impact or not. Please help by taking part in this research project through completing this online survey, which should take around 15-20 minutes.

The survey is open until 5pm on Friday 11 February 2022 (now extended to Monday 14 February).

ICAS, the funder of this project, join the research team in thanking you for your valuable contribution.

Charity Impact Practice survey

Respond to the survey


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