We’ve measured the value of our investment in community work for many years using the London Benchmarking Group’s (LBG) well established methodology. This year we contributed over £7.1m in total.
But measuring our investment only tells part of the story. We’re increasingly trying to measure the benefits resulting from our support - ultimately we’d like to value our impact in monetary terms, using our new TIMM methodology.
We’ve still got a way to go, but we’re making good progress. We’ve been measuring the number of beneficiaries from our community work for a couple of years and have chosen to publish the results this year, because we now have more robust data.. We’ve also reported the social outcomes of a number of our volunteering programs for the first time this year.
We measure our inputs as a simple way of assessing our community activity each year, and to help us benchmark against other companies. But our approach also looks at the ‘outputs’ of our investment.
This means understanding more about the different programmes we run and the different groups of people who benefit from each of our programmes. It’s an emerging area in community reporting. We’ve identified over 15,000 beneficiaries of our volunteering activities this year. School children constitute the largest group, and we’re increasingly working with social enterprises.
Measuring the actual benefits of our community activities – the ‘outcomes’ – is the next step towards understanding our social impact, and it also helps us to assess the effectiveness of our programmes. This year we’ve measured the outcomes shown above for our two core groups of beneficiaries: secondary school students and social enterprises.
Understanding our social outcomes
We’ve worked for many years with schools near our offices, supporting literacy, numeracy and mentoring programmes, as well as raising employability skills and business awareness. Our programmes aim to raise the employability prospects of those pupils closest to the job market.
We also work with social enterprises to support some of the most vulnerable members of society. We provide mentoring and business skills training to these individuals, and assist the organisations who work to support them.
This year, we’ve surveyed both groups to assess the outcomes of our activities. The results (see below) suggest that our programmes have a really positive effect, raising aspirations, helping these people to get ready for the world of work and to be more effective within it.
We’ll continue to survey our social outcomes so we can tailor our programmes to be most use to our beneficiaries.
Benefits of our programme 1
Understanding our business outcomes
Volunteering doesn’t only help the communities we support. It also benefits our people by providing ways to:
A good example is our Emerging Leaders Programme - our major talent programme for high performing and high potential managers. This programme challenges participants to consider their personal leadership style in a series of workshops and action learning groups and through internal and external projects. As part of the programme, many of our people choose to work with one of our community partners. Feedback tells us they find it rewarding and exciting to get into a completely new environment.
We ask our volunteers about the effect our programmes have on them. This year, we’ve extended these business impact surveys to cover all our programmes. The results highlight how volunteering makes a positive difference to our people’s engagement, skills and networks - which in turn contribute to our success in the marketplace - although we aren’t yet able to measure the monetary value.
See our lessons learned report, The business benefits of mentoring social entrepreneurs for more on the business benefits one of our most important programmes.Find out how measuring our community impacts fits within our total impact.