Evidencing impact

Below, you will find a range of different techniques and frameworks you can use to show the impact of your community group.   In addition, these tools should help you to plan, review and improve your work so that it achieves the best outcomes for your community.  There are also some links to further support.





Alliance for Useful Evidence

Alliance for Useful Evidence logoThe Alliance for Useful Evidence has some useful resources in its publications section, such as The Challenges of Evidence and What Counts as Good Evidence?


The Code of Good Impact Practice

Inspiring Impact logoInspiring Impact's 'cycle of impact practice' takes you through planning, collecting and use of evidence.


Contribution Analysis

This approach has recently been explored by the Scottish Government and involves carefully weighing up the different ‘contributions’ towards a particular outcome to assess the impact of a policy or initiative.  The belief is that considering other possible factors addresses the problem of ‘attribution’ – when direct causal links are difficult to establish.


Evidence Finder

Scottish Government logoThe Scottish Governmnet's evidence finder allows you to find evidence that the government has collected across a wide range of policy areas.


Evidence for Success: The guide to getting evidence and using it

Evidence for SuccessProduced by the Knowledge Translation Network, this guide offers easy to follow, step-by-step guidance and resources to support organisations to use evidence to influence policy and practice.


Evidence for Success: Collaborating with academics

Collaborating with Academics coverFollowing on from the orginal Evidence for Success (above), this guide is for anyone in the third sector, including community groups, who wants to link to academics to generate and/or use evidence to improve policy and practice.


Exploring your impact

Making Local Food Work logoAn organisation called Making Local Food Work has developed these practical tools to help community food and other projects identify and measure the impact they have on the communities they work with.


Exploring the use of economic evidence to support the health improvement contribution of the third sector

NHS Health Scotland briefing on economic evidenceNHS Health Scotland briefing on collecting economic evidence.  Useful in terms of providing an introduction to gathering and presenting economic evidence.


How good is our third sector organisation?

Education Scotland logoThis is a new resource currently being piloted by Education Scotland which has been developed to assist third sector organisations to carry out their own self-evaluation more effectively.


Inspiring Impact

Image from inspiring impactInspiring Impact, an international collaborative programme, has developed a range of resources to help you measure your impact, including a self-assessment tool called Measuring Up, as well as the Impact Hub where you can search for other useful evaluation tools.


Logic Model

SCDC logic modelDiagram showing the links between needs and short and long term outcomes.  Evaluation Support Scotland has produced this useful introductory guide.



Outcomes Star

An evidence-based tool for measuring and supporting change.


Prove it

nef consulting logoThis is a straightforward website or toolkit developed by the New Economics Foundation which aims to help you evaluate your community project.


Proving and Improving

nef logoThis website from the New Economics Foundation provides comprehensive advice, guides and tools for helping third sector organisations prove and improve their quality and impact.


The SROI guide

SROI stands for Social Return on Investment and is a method of estimating the finacial value of your work.  This free resource sets out a step by step approach to completing an analysis of social return.


Social Audit Network

SAN delivers training and events around social accounting and auditing - an approach which shows the social, health and environmental benefits of an organisation's work and can be externally vallidated by SAN's network of Social Auditors.SAN logo


Social Impact Scotland

This website provides tools and materials for understanding, measuring and demonstarting social impact. It includes guidance on social return on investment (SROI), theory of change and social accounting.


Social Value UK

Social Value UK is the national network for anyone interested in social value and social impact.


Tailor Made

CDF logoThis resource from the Community Development Foundation provides an overview of the valuable contribution the community sector makes to people’s lives and society as a whole.  It combines qualitative examples with quantitative data, including economic impact, to make a case for the community sector.  Might be useful in making a case for further resources and also to give ideas on how to present evidence.


Theory of Change

Theory of change by nefLike a logic model, a theory of change is a visual map which shows the route taken from initial activities of a piece of work through to intermediate outcomes and finally to long-term outcomes.


Find resources and policy guides

Find resources

We can help spotlight your community

Contact us today

column-content chunk