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The National Performance Programme

In 2009 Charities Evaluation Services’ National Performance Programme commissioned the work of updating this website from nef consulting (the new economics foundation).

The National Performance Programme is funded by Capacitybuilders’ National Support Services programme and is led by Charities Evaluation Services (CES) in partnership with acevo, the New Economics Foundation, New Philanthropy Capital and Voice4Change England.

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

CES is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales no. 2510318.

Registered charity no. 803602.
Registered office address:
4 Coldbath Square


Proving and improving:
a quality and impact toolkit for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprise

The information represented in the original Toolkit was put together over the course of a three-year project (2002-2005), with help from a wide range of colleagues. While there are scores of people we’ve interacted with who have informed the shape, scope and content of the learning represented here, and it is impossible to thank every person that contributed in some way, those who have made sustained contributions to the project are listed below.

The Social Enterprise Partnership (GB) Ltd

For their leadership and commitment during the original project in developing and piloting the new and existing ‘proving and improving’ tools, we would like to thank:

Steve Wyler and Karen Byrne of the Development Trusts Association, as well as Claire Stevenson formerly of the DTA for her work on the early Healthcheck piloting.
Sally Reynolds for her work on the Social Firms Performance Dashboard as well as Agnieszka Schwarz and Gerry Higgins for their work on its forerunner, the Social Firms Balanced Scorecard.
John Goodman of Co-operativesUK and Penny Street of the National Centre for Business & Sustainability for their leadership on the Key Social and Co-operative Performance Indicators.
Ali Somers formerly of Social Enterprise London (SEL) and Neil Homer of OS & G Co-operative for their commitment and willingness to take the Balanced Scorecard into uncharted territory, and David Shannon for representing SEL in the early days of the project. We are also grateful for contributions to the Quality & Impact Project from:
The core Social Enterprise Partnership Team: Gerold Schwarz, Elizabeth Lopez, Anke Lehman and Heather Squires.
The Social Enterprise Coalition, especially Mahua Nandi for her input into the Toolkit’s development and Sven Desai for the steady flow of information.
Philip Angier and Keith Stamp for their development of Social Accounting in the Northeast.
Jane Sidaway, for her innumerable contributions, especially in formulating her evaluation work to be of practical use in informing the project’s development.

The primary author would also like to take the opportunity to thank the following members of nef (the new economics foundation) for their support and contributions to the Quality & Impact Project and to this Toolkit:

Hetan Shah, the first manager of the Q & I project, for setting a strong foundation and helping with both the little details and the big picture throughout the course of the piloting, research, development and writing of this Toolkit.
Martin Cooper for his timely, thorough, and enthusiastic research and writing of many of the summaries in the Tools book, as well as for spreading the word about the project brilliantly through his leadership on imPROVEit, the project’s enews bulletin.
Jeremy Nicholls for his invaluable contributions to the project, and sharp mind on social accounting and SROI.
Richard Murray for his contribution to the Impact Map and Storyboard exercises in Resources, and for his unflagging moral support.
Petra Kjell for her research into indicators, as well as her timely help with the glossary and contributions to the Resources book.
Nic Marks for his contribution on well-being to the section of Resources.
Justin Sacks for his work on LM3, and ability to teach others how to do unforgettable LM3 presentations using chocolate coins.
Andrea Westall for her support and insight throughout the Q & I project.
Heather Savory, former Q & I project volunteer, for her contribution to the indicators survey, to the glossary and further resources sections.
Steve Wraith for his assistance with helping the Q & I project to work out the details.
Mary Murphy, for her efficiency and expertise in making this printed Toolkit a reality.
Jonathan Reades, who, as the primary author’s partner, is an honorary member of the Q & I Project team for the sheer number of toolkit drafts he has read, cups of tea he has provided, and moral support he has given during the writing of the Toolkit.


We would also like to thank the following people for their contributions to the project and to this Toolkit:

Bernadette Bickerton* and Jessica Rafinski (formerly) of the DTI Small Business Service Social Enterprise Unit.
John Pearce* and Alan Kay of the Social Audit Network.
Jenni Inglis* and Evan Rees of Social Enterprise East Midlands.
Stephanie Robertson, formerly of London Business School, for her leadership on the SROI Primer.
Colin Nee* and his team at the Charities Evaluation Service for their review of the toolkit and useful suggestions.

We would like to thank the many organisations and individuals who contributed to the development of the Toolkit, and its component parts. Firstly we would like to thank all of the organisations that participated in the piloting of Quality and Impact tools as part of the Project. They span from the smallest social firm to the largest consumer co-operative, and each organisation’s participation has enabled the Q & I project to learn from their experiences. We would also like to thank the many organisations that responded to our indicators survey. While these organisations are too numerous to mention in this space, their contributions were essential.

Social Enterprise Coalition –
European Union –
Equal –  Development Trusts Association –
Co-operativesUK –
Social Enterprise London –
Social Firms UK -