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Supporting Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Measuring impact

You’ll want to make sure that you capture all the data you need to demonstrate the impact of your digital skills programme. This data can be used for a variety of purposes:  

  • Reporting back to your senior manager and ensuring their continued support. 
  • Highlight the difference you’re making.  
  • Understand and respond to the needs of your Digital Champions.  
  • Manage the demand on your Digital Champions.  
  • Understand what is and what is not working – and make changes.  
  • Comms to share your story. 
  • Recruiting more Digital Champions for the next phase. 
  • Building a business case for additional resources or to try something new/different.

It’s best to think about what kind of data you want to capture and design the processes to enable you to do this from the start of your project.  

Quantitative data  

Quantitative data is all about numbers and outputs. This helps demonstrate the reach of your work and how time is being spent. Some basic numbers you might want to keep a track of are: 

  • Number of Digital Champions recruited 
  • Numbers of Digital Champions trained 
  • Number of training sessions delivered 
  • Training satisfaction ratings  
  • Number of active Digital Champions each month

Beyond these basic numbers, your can also collect some quantitative data on the activities of your Digital Champions. SCVO Digital team have used an approach called ‘snapshot week’ which was developed by Citizen’s Online. This blog from Citizen’s Online explains the process they have developed. Essentially, you can measure activity over the course of a week, with Digital Champions keeping a tally of how many people they support, and extrapolate the results. This blog from SCVO highlights how we’ve adopted this approach and what we learnt from it. Digital Champions keep a tally or how many learners they’ve supported, and at the end of the week they complete a short survey. Questions we included in our snapshot week include: 

  • How many people have you supported this week? 
  • How many were new/returning learners? 
  • Was this a typical week? If not, why not?  
  • How confident do you feel as a Digital Champion?  
  • Did learners come to you or did you reach out to them?  
  • What further support would be helpful in your role as a Digital Champion?  

Qualitative data 

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."

Albert Einstein

While quantitative data can give you an outline of your activity, qualitative data is the added colour that tells a story. This is where you can really capture the impact and human side of your work.  

Most of us are probably used to writing case studies, and tis is a great way to tell a story, but we can make use of a range of methods to capture impact: 

  • Blogs: Writing a blog is a great way to take some time to reflect on your learning and share it with others. Blogs should be honest and not only speak about your successes, but also share things that haven’t gone so well or have posed a challenge. People respond to honesty and the lessons you have learnt could really help someone else overcome a similar challenge.  
  • Surveys: A survey can be used to capture useful insights to your Digital Champions and their learners. You should give careful consideration to how you design your survey with lots of prompts and open questions. A survey can be an easy way to gather data fairly quickly and it gives the person completing it a structure to provide the information you’re looking for. You can craete surveys for free on platforms like MS Forms or SurveyMonkey.   
  • Audio recordings: Not everyone can tell their stories in writing. Recording conversations can give you a more organic and honest qualitative data. How you use this is up to you (providing you’ve secured the appropriate consent). You could create podcasts like DigiListen by SCVO, or you could transcribe it for written case studies.   
  • Video recordings: Conversations on Zoom or Teams can be a really effective way of capturing stories. You can come up with some prompt questions to guide your conversation, and it can always be edited later. Here’s an example from No.1 Befriending Agency for Connecting Scotland.  
  • Video case studies: A video can bring a story to life, and add authenticity as the viewer gets to see the person teel their story in their own words. here's an example of a video case study we used in Connecting Scotland.
  • Animations: There are free versions of animation software like Biteable that you can use to tell your story. This is what we used in SCVO (paid version) to create our What is a Digital Motivator video.  
  • Webpage: You could have an intranet page, external facing webpage or a SharePoint site to showcase all your learning. At SCVO we curated a webpage with a range of different media showcasing our learning and impact from a project in the social housing sector.  
Last modified on 14 April 2022

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