At the 2018 Culture Business conference in Canberra this week learning, meeting new folks (up to 50 as instructed by the organisers!) and giving two presentations – one with Deanna Varga (Mayvin Global) around how to work with and better utilise members in philanthropy (take our survey here) and another with Bridget Jones (Wavelength).about how to measure and use impact as a way to boost funding potential.
Rupert Myer, Director of the Myer Foundation was one (of many!) speakers I found very inspiring – humble, knowledgeable and generous in sharing his considerable insights and experience. He made an interesting (and, I feel, quite profound) observation that ‘Australians are good at giving, not good at asking’.
I’d like to take this a little further and suggest that Australians are also good at data collecting, but not good at using it, especially in discussions with funders, be they government, private donors, corporates, or even our members/subscribers and volunteers – Rupert saying we often hear ‘why didn’t they ask me?’ from these various groups.
Data at its best, is a key tool that we can (and should!) be using as a matter of course when seeking funding so why aren’t we doing better? Even some data at its worse is better than nothing!
So, back to the topic of this blog post – data informs the ask, and qualitative data, or impact measures, can be a powerful tool in bringing funders across the line. Personal stories of transformational change after an interaction with our organisations, coupled with hard facts and figures combine to provide a compelling narrative around our impact on people’s lives and help develop an informed ask.
Measuring impact is not new, but is now even more important as we are all completing for the same shrinking pool of funding.
In our session Bridget and I will be sharing some of these stories and tools, and I will be drawing on the following resources on measuring impact:
- Better Evaluation (2014). Most Significant Change (Accessed 12 November, 2018).
- Deery, M. and Jago, L. (2010). Social impacts of events and the role of anti-social behaviour. International Journal of Events and Festival Management, pp.8-28.
- Event Impacts (undated). eventIMPACTS (Accessed 12 November, 2018)
- How to demonstrate and measure the value and impact of museums and galleries. Kate Farmery, Head of Services, Manchester Art Gallery, Virginia Tandy, Director of Culture, Manchester City Council
- Explaining the Seemingly Unexplainable: Impact of Museums, Intentional Museum blog
- Balancing Mission with Impact, Intentional Museum blog
- Kelly, L. (2006). Measuring the impact of museums on their communities: the role of the 21st century museum. Paper presented at the 2006 INTERCOM conference, Taipei. Download paper here: impact paper intercom 2006
- Scott, C. (2015). The Cultural Value of Visiting Museums and Galleries. Blog post (Accessed 12 November, 2018).
- Scott, C. (Ed.) (2013). Museums and Public Value: Creating Sustainable Futures. Ashgate Publishing: Surrey.
- MoMA shows museums can be relevant beyond art appreciation, Daily News
- Let’s start measuring impact at art museums, Concrete Thought blog
I’m also touching on transformative learning, which I have written about extensively:
- Transformative Experiences / Transformative Learning – what is it and how can we measure it?
- Measuring Transformative Learning: Part 1 #musdigi
- Measuring Transformative Learning Part 2: Checklists and Rating scales
- Analysing Visitor Conversations
- Transformative Learning in museums: some examples