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Inspiring Impact


Inspiring Impact was a UK-wide programme which ran from 2011 to early 2022 to support good impact practice in the charity sector. Inspiring Impact launched in NI in 2014, providing peer learning networks, online resources and grant funding to help the sector understand and articulate the difference they make. CDHN took over as lead partner in NI in March 2020 when Community Evaluation Northern Ireland (CENI) closed. Since the closure of the programme, most of the resources which previously lived on the Inspiring Impact website have been rehomed by NPC and other partner organisations.

Impact Practice and Inspiring Impact in Northern Ireland Report

CDHN conducted research into impact practice and Inspiring Impact in NI as part of the programme. The findings were presented at a joint event with NICVA “Impact Practice - Next Steps for VCSE Sector” on 09 June 2022. 

Key findings: 

  • Impact practice knowledge and understanding has increased over the last 10 years​, however more support is still needed for the VCSE sector in the planning, implementation and evaluation of impact practice​.
  • There are varying levels of understanding of impact practice, even within the same organisations.
  • The key barriers to impact practice are lack of staff, time and resources.
  • The different tools and approaches Government and funders use can be confusing and unhelpful to VCSE organisations.
  • There is a need to promote impact practice as a way of recognising the difference made, the learning from work and its role in strategic planning and not just for meeting funder requirements​.

The report has a number of recommendations, one of which is to host a round table of interested organisations to explore developing an impact practice consortium and another about Government funding for impact practice.  We are delighted that NICVA have secured funding through Department of Communities to support impact practice work in NI and the event on 09 June 2022 was the first round table event they hosted as part of this work.   To find out more about NICVA's work in this area, contact Leeann Kelly, Impact Practice Manager at or 028 9087 7777.

Thank you again to everyone who took part in the research. You can download a copy of the report here.