Proving the Value of Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Infrastructure Support Organsiations

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Summary

The project, ‘Proving Our Value’, will be of national importance as it aims to provide tools to assist social purpose organisations in better communicating the impact of their activities to funders, commissioners, government, and the public. In the context of the ‘Big Society’ and ‘Localism’ policy agendas, it is increasingly important to have robust evidence to inform policy and practice.  The project will also further develop partnerships between the University of Bristol and social purpose organisations at multiple levels.

The School for Policy Studies will work in conjunction with Voscur, a VSCE sector capacity building organisation covering the South West, to capture the direct and indirect value of their work. The project will involve developing a unique ‘Proving Our Value’ assessment tool and testing and revising the tool through repeated quantitative surveys, in-depth interviews and focus groups. Econometric tools, such as Social Return on Investment (SROI), will be used to translate social impacts into economic values.

Dr Karen Bell, from the Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social Justice, will lead the project for the School for Policy Studies, working alongside Voscur’s development staff, with support from Professor Alex Marsh, as well as staff from the Capacity Building Cluster in the School of Economics, Finance and Management at the University of Bristol. The project is funded by South West Forum through the Big Lottery and will run for 24 months. The award of £55,000 will be shared with Voscur.

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