Demonstrating our impact
You might think we like to show off at LionHeart because we seem to spend a lot of time telling you how great we are! We’re certainly not shy... rarely does a week go by that we’re not tweeting about someone we’ve helped or sharing what someone has said about the support they’ve received through us.
Hands up, we are shameless attention seekers! You might even be forgiven for wishing we’d give it a rest.
But we won’t, and I’ll tell you why… we’re just demonstrating our impact, and doing that is one of the most important things a charity can do.
It’s really important for us to build a picture of what we do and to build trust with the people who might use our services or make a donation to us at some point. We want you to have faith and trust in LionHeart because A) we want you to feel you will receive an excellent service if you call our helpline with a problem, or attend one of our personal development workshops and B) because we’d also love for you to make a donation to support our work, so it’s important that you get an idea of how we spend that money and what we use it to do.
We try to share good news stories with you regularly, but this is just one small part of the work we do on our impact measurement and monitoring. We do a variety of things that, combined together, build a picture of the difference we make to people’s lives and how successful we are at the things we do:
- The stats; affectionately known as ‘bums on seats’ - how many people call our helpline, how many people are provided with grants, counselling, coaching, legal advice and how many people attend our workshops or log in to our webinars, for example
- The trends - are we seeing more calls for counselling for example?
- The amount of money we give out in grants each year
- ‘soft’ outcomes, like someone growing in confidence, being able to address their anxiety or depression, or feeling happier in themselves and more able to move forward
- ‘hard’ outcomes, like someone getting a new job, or returning to work after a period off sick, or keeping their home when they had been at risk of losing it
- Case stories - the people we help, and their experiences
- Feedback - how do people rate our services? Would they recommend us to their colleagues? Is there anything we could do better?
It is important to do all of these things as none of them individually provide a true picture of LionHeart’s impact. Some of them are things we consider more at board and senior leadership level rather than being something we publish and promote. The board look at all elements of impact at every board meeting so that they are able to assess whether or not our services are still the right ones. The information also lets them know which areas have the most impact and what ‘value for money’ looks like in our organisation.
We really do want you, our audience, to feel that LionHeart is an integral part of being a Chartered Surveyor; somewhere to go when you’re facing challenges, somewhere to go to develop those softer skills that complement your professional qualifications so well, and also somewhere to go for information and advice about a huge variety of everyday concerns.
No-one is immune to facing a challenge in life, unfortunately. Serious illness, bereavement and other things come along to stop you in your tracks: none of those things care what you do for a living or what your professional qualifications might be.
Hopefully, by regularly communicating what we do and how we do it, our audience get to know more about us and feel much more likely to trust us and able to ask us for help when times are tough - because often asking for help is the most difficult step to make.
Perhaps, also, you’ll be more likely to consider ‘ticking the box’ at RICS subs time to make an annual donation to support LionHeart - because you have a better understanding of what a difference that money makes to us and, in turn, your professional peers.
Our team take such pride in what they do and, for them, there’s nothing more rewarding than knowing they’ve helped someone get through a difficult time and to a more positive place.
So if we can reach even more people and help them get to a more positive place, well, forgive us, but we’re going to carry on shouting our show-off tendencies from the rooftops.
Davina Goodchild has been CEO of LionHeart since 2011 and has worked in the charity sector since the late 1990s.
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