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Choosing Impact Measurement

Toolkit for choosing an impact measurement

Partnership between Middlesex University (CEEDR) and The Guild


a) To identify the range of different approaches to measuring impacts that are currently being used
b) To survey a sample of 50 social enterprises using a range of different methods
c) To identify good practice in impact measurement
d) To disseminate this good practice
e) To help the Guild develop appropriate training for measuring impact in the future.

Results for the Company Partner

The Guild (Eastern Region) LLP provide consultancy and training services to the third sector and social enterprises. Revenue is generated by selling courses and delivering services to a range of public and third sector agencies. The Guild has been tasked with understanding how to measure the social impact of social enterprises, the experiences of those using different methodologies and the identification of good practice. The partnership allowed The Guild to develop the knowledge in this area which will lead income from contracts with regional development agencies and third sector organisations.


  • Increased sales- being able to deliver programmes for local/regional development agencies, who require The Guild's expertise to be combined with that of a Knowledge base such as Middlesex University.
  • Increased sales- being able to deliver a range of training programmes in the future to third sector organisations
  • New markets- the work will open up new markets through identification of new products such as training courses

Key outputs

  • a Guide to Getting Started in Social Impact Measurement, which has been distributed to over 700 organisations.
  • The KTP developed ways to support organisations to select an appropriate means to measure their impact, resulting 14 courses run by The Guild, with training delivered to over 200 third sector organisations to introduce this important subject

Results for the Associate

Results for the Knowledge Base Partner

  • The research led to MU winning a competitive contract for (£12,000) to develop impact assessment approaches for Citizens Advice and an address to their AGM. MU also won a competitive tender commissioned to develop a website for measuring impact (for Big Lottery Fund and Plunkett Foundation). This targeted many thousands of smaller organisations and social enterprises.
  • This research also laid the basis for the Inspiring Impact programme led by New Philanthropy Capital, bringing together impact measurement specialists across the UK to discuss forms of shared measurement, with MU research quoted extensively in the launch document. The research was also used by New Philanthropy Capital in developing the Data Lab Project and Middlesex University was subsequently funded to provide further support in setting up units in different government departments that allowed charities to use public sector administrative data to assess the impact of interventions.

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