I was attracted to ’The Gathering’ this year by a workshop called “Making an impact – why measurement matters and who cares”. For those who have never attended, ‘The Gathering’ is a fantastic free annual networking event for the third sector. It also offers a wide range of different workshops about contemporary issues and solutions. The Gathering 2013 presented a mix of workshops that ranged from employability, volunteering, marketing, websites, welfare reform, funding and much more.
The prize for best stall should definitely go to Impact Arts (@impactarts) with their chic decorations and charming design.
The workshop for “making an impact – why measurement matters and who cares” started off well because I was given some free post-it notes with the quote “if you treasure it, measure it”. As a researcher this sings to the heart so I knew I was off to a good start! The main talk was a discussion of the findings of a report published by NPC on charities engagement with measuring impact. One of the really interesting findings included the barriers that organsiations have to measurement and the importance of organisational culture in its utilisation. I also liked the idea of having a #fail competition and learning from organsiations that have not had positive results.
What was new this year was that I attended this event ‘Twitter’ literate(ish). This meant that I was able to share the key insights live for the benefit of our Twitter followers. Furthermore, through the Twitter hashtag #G2013 I was able to see what was going on in parallel workshops. What resulted is actually a handy synopsis for readers of the main points coming out of the workshop that I attended.
Overall, it is through breaking down these barriers to using and sharing data that we will have a more coordinated and hard-hitting research impact agenda.
If you are interested in having a say about impact measurement you can reply to the recently launched consultation on a ‘Code of Good Impact Practice’