Measuring Impact More Comprehensively

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The Approach

The volunteer analysts started the project by interviewing staff in the EPF office who offer initial advice to clients, issue questionnaires regularly to clients, analyse the results and write  regular reports on survey results. A key issue was that property matters take a long time to resolve and the effects of property decisions will last for many years.

The team researched ways of measuring impact, including the Treasury’s ‘Green Book’, and examined the existing questionnaires, the type of benefits recorded, the reporting system and the recorded feedback in some detail, noting problems as we went along. They spoke to a sample of clients and ran a workshop for property professionals and EPF office staff to confirm the types of benefit which can be obtained through use of EPF advice and to assess which of these might be measured and by what process. All this information was used to design a simpler, less time-consuming system for capturing long-term benefits and drafted and tested the questionnaires to be used in it.

“I have been through the report and am delighted with its scope and rigour’ - Chief Executive

The Client

The Ethical Property Foundation (EPF) provides independent, ethical advice and training to help charities and voluntary groups rent, buy, let or manage their property.

The Client's Problem

EPF wished to make a better assessment of its impact on clients in order to demonstrate  more fully its value to funders.

The Solution

  • Use of a more focused and more appropriately timed set of feedback questionnaires for clients and property advisers - drafts of these were drawn up and tested;
  • Use of telephone feedback where complex financial information was required - a draft questionnaire for this purpose was drawn up and tested;
  • An improved system for collating feedback direct from commercial survey systems;
  • Use of discounted cash flow techniques to help assess long term benefits - a simple spreadsheet model was built for the client to use for this purpose.

The Benefits

  • A more comprehensive capturing of long-term client benefits which should help EPF to continue to demonstrate the value of its services without causing EPF or its clients a great deal more work;
  • A better understanding by property advisers of the feedback they can provide to EPF.