About Prove and Improve

The Social Enterprise Partnership Quality & Impact Project (2002–2005) was the project behind the original prove and improve website and the Quality and Impact Toolkit. The associated tools booklet (now out of print) and web version have been an invaluable resource since, and NEF Consulting is making sure that the latest version of the content continues to be available on our website.

The NPP is funded by Capacitybuilders National Support Services programme and is lead by Charities Evaluation Services (CES) in partnership with acevo, The New Economics Foundation, new Philanthropy Capital and Voice 4Change England.

Improving Support is an initiative led by Capacitybuilders that brings together practical resources and learning to strengthen support services for third sector organisations.

How ‘Prove and Improve’ started

As part of the original project a survey was done of a range of methods for measuring impact and building quality, and several new resources and approaches were developed in collaboration with organisations involved in the Social Enterprise Partnership (GB) Ltd.

These included:

  • Proving and Improving: a quality and impact toolkit for social enterprise.
  • This site, Proveandimprove.org, which serves as a companion to the Toolkit.
  • The SROI Primer – available at http://sroi.london.edu, developed in conjunction with London Business School.
  • The Social Audit Network Social Accounting and Audit Manual.
  • The DTA Healthcheck (now called “Fit for Purpose”) – created by the Development Trusts Association for the Development Trust and community business sector as a quality building tool.
  • Key Social and Co-operative Performance Indicators – developed by Co-operativesUK to help co-operatives measure their performance against they core co-operative principles.
  • LM3 – Local Multiplier 3 – a straightforward way to measure the impact of organisations on the local economy developed by nef and piloted as part of the Q & I Project.
  • Social Enterprise Balanced Scorecard – adapted by Social Enterprise London to help organisations to ‘map’ their unique business strategy and develop measurements that indicate success in meeting their goals.
  • Third Sector Performance Dashboard – developed by Social Firms UK to help social firms to track their performance from multiple perspectives simply and easily.

The main body of the original Toolkit and web site were made possible by the productive collaboration of the SEP partners. Each partner organisation made a unique contribution to the Quality & Impact Project, enabling the project to reflect a broad spectrum of social enterprise forms both in developing new tools and in contributing to the knowledge base that the Toolkit draws upon.

The original publication and website were funded jointly by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Small Business Service – Social Enterprise Unit and by the European Social Fund’s Equal Community Initiative Programme. The contents do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of the European Commission and/or Department of Trade and Industry.

The Social Enterprise Partnership (SEP GB Ltd) was funded by the EQUAL Community Initiative Programme and the Department for Trade and Industry’s Small Business Service Social Enterprise Unit, to deliver a three-year project of infrastructure and systems’ development, capacity building, and research and development for the social enterprise sector from 2002–2005. The members of the Social Enterprise Partnership are leading organisations working in the social enterprise field in the UK: Co-operativesUK, Development Trusts Association, The New Economics Foundation), Social Enterprise London, Social Firms UK and the Social Enterprise Coalition.

Additional Acknowledgements:

Social Enterprise Coalition – www.socialenterprise.org.uk
European Union – http://europa.eu/
Co-operativesUK – www.cooperatives-uk.coop
Social Enterprise London – www.sel.org.uk
Social Firms UK – www.socialfirmsuk.co.uk
London Business School SROI Primer – http://sroi.london.edu


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