About this toolkit

This is a toolkit for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprise to provide ways to prove and improve their quality and impact.

Proving and Improving

What does it mean to ‘prove’ and ‘improve’?

‘Proving’ is about demonstrating that change is actually taking place, that your organisation is living up to its mission, and that it can explain these changes and effects to a range of people that have a stake in what happens. It can also be about demonstrating to these people that your organisation or its activities lives up to or achieves expected standards.

‘Improving’ refers to a continuous process of learning and growth, to support the social mission and also to sustain/grow the business. It is also about actively pursuing ways to get better – at delivering goods and services, running efficiently, and creating value for employees and partners.


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 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

The original project conducted a survey of a range of methods for measuring impact and building quality, and new resources and approaches were developed in collaboration with organisations involved in the Social Enterprise Partnership (GB) Ltd. These included:

  • The SROI Primer – developed in conjunction with London Business School.
  • The Social Audit Network Social Accounting and Audit Manual.
  • The DTA Healthcheck (now called “Fit for Purpose”).
  • Key Social and Co-operative Performance Indicators – developed by Co-operativesUK.
  • LM3 – Local Multiplier 3.
  • Social Enterprise Balanced Scorecard – adapted by Social Enterprise London.
  • Third Sector Performance Dashboard – developed by Social Firms UK.
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New Economics Foundation

NEF aims to create a new economy that works for people and within environmental limits. We are guided by three missions:

A new social settlement
To ensure people are paid well, have more time off to spend with their families, and have access to the things we all need for a decent life.

A Green New Deal
A plan for government-led investment to reduce the carbon we emit and boost nature, while creating a new generation of jobs.

The democratic economy
To devolve state power and transform ownership of the economy to give everyone an equal stake in the places where we live and work.

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