A suite of new tools will help churches and Christian organisations take an impact-first approach to project planning and to evidence and evaluate change more effectively.
Allchurches Trust, in partnership with Church Urban Fund, has produced a simple interactive project planning tool and project reporting form, as well as an impact reporting toolkit, which includes more detailed guidance on monitoring and evaluation. These tools are free to use and can be found in the ‘featured resources’ section of Allchurches Trust’s new advice and resources hub on their website at www.allchurches.co.uk
Allchurches Trust chairman, Tim Carroll, said: “Monitoring and evaluation that is proportionate, evidences change and shares learnings – both good and bad – can be hugely important for the long-term success of projects, and organisations as a whole, but it’s perhaps the biggest challenge facing charities today, including funders.
“We hear from so many churches and Christian charities that they struggle to know where to start with impact evaluation, especially when so many of their projects are people-focused and relational, and numbers can never tell the story on their own.
“That’s why, after a workshop we ran with Church Urban Fund for Christian funders last year, we took away the learnings and partnered to produce these simple, interactive tools as a starting point for project evaluation which can then be tailored to the needs of the individual church or charity.”
It is hoped that the use of the tools, particularly in the development stage of projects, will help organisations to strengthen their funding applications by encouraging them to focus and bring to life the change they want to make in their communities, and support them to set out how they will achieve and measuring the outcomes that will evidence that change.
Jessamin Birdsall, who heads up Research and Evaluation at Church Urban Fund and is a PhD candidate in Sociology and Social Policy at Princeton University, has also written an advice blog called ‘Why Evaluate?’ to support the new monitoring and evaluation tools.
She said: “We hope that these flexible tools can be a help to churches and charities who want to better capture the difference they are making in communities.”