Line of people with their backs to camera whose t-shirt backs read Spirit 2012

Spirit working with inFocus

Spirit working with inFocus Enterprises research consortium to evaluate impact of investments

Spirit and inFocus join in partnership for 3 years, to evaluate Spirit’s partnerships and projects to effectively monitor the impact of funding

In November 2013, the Big Lottery Fund established Spirit of 2012, to invest in projects across the UK that enable people to participate in sports, arts, volunteering, and social action. The aim of investment is to increase health and wellbeing, challenge perceptions of disability and to lead to greater social cohesion.

The inFocus team are leading a national consortium of expert researchers to independently evaluate how these projects impact on society by improving health and wellbeing and improving perceptions towards disability which leads to greater social cohesion and understanding. inFocus researchers have skills and expertise across Spirit’s diverse portfolio and will be able to bring an important national and regional perspective to the evaluation.

For Spirit this is an important part of our commitment to developing as a ‘learning organisation’ and we will share results of the evaluation and research contract with partners over the course of the next 3 years.

Ruth Hollis, Director of Policy and Research at Spirit, says:

“Spirit is not interested in evaluation for its own sake; we will take the learning from projects to improve our funding strategy and grant-making. Working with inFocus as long-term and independent partners means that we can really start to tell the story of Spirit’s investment and the early impact it is having on improving wellbeing. We can also offer grantees an opportunity to provide honest and open feedback on how we are doing as a Funder. We will work together with grantees to create clear, robust frameworks that create meaningful results that we can learn from. inFocus is a highly credible partner and the consortium brings considerable expertise. They share our commitment to formative and genuinely explorative learning. We are excited to be working with them."

Dr Damian Hatton, Managing Director at inFocus, says:

“The opportunity to work with Spirit on such an important project for the whole of the UK is very exciting. Spirit has an inspiring and clear vision for the changes it hopes to catalyse within communities and takes a highly innovative and professional approach to realising that vision. It is so encouraging to see the depth of thinking that has gone into the various programmes and Spirit’s genuine commitment to impact on the ground. We are equally committed to supporting them to continuously learn and adapt to overcome the many challenges ahead and achieve the full ambition of the project.”

inFocus Enterprises' mission is to enable social sector organisations across the world to learn from and share their social impact data, helping them to ‘scale’ their efforts and use resources to best effect, to ultimately improve the lives of real people, in real communities from around the world.

Through the inFocus impact platform they are providing a flexible and scalable shared measurement solution to charities, governmental institutes, corporations and social enterprises to monitor and evaluate their programmes and powerfully communicate their impact.

Spirit is committed to effective and genuine monitoring of its investments. Every pound given to projects must work as hard as possible to change lives and improve communities; without in-depth knowledge of what works, it cannot improve the efficiency of its grants and ensure the money is going towards sustainable change.

For more insight, please read our Director of Policy & Research, Ruth Hollis's, blog on our partnership with infocus and measuring our impact.

Notes to Editors

Spirit of 2012 was established by the Big Lottery Fund in 2013 to empower people to get out, be involved and feel better. It ensures the spirit that radiated from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic is felt across the UK. By connecting events to communities across the country, we ensure our investment is of local, regional and national benefit. Spirit tackles isolation and disadvantage by supporting those providing opportunities in sport, arts and volunteering.

Spirit uses local and national events as platforms to encourage full and active community participation in arts, sport, physical activity, volunteering and social action to increase health and wellbeing, it enhances volunteering, engages and enables young people as leaders and ambassadors, continues the momentum of the Paralympic movement in challenging and changing negative perceptions of disability and collects learning and knowledge.

We believe that enabling people to participate in a wide range of activities will:

Improve health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and society as a whole
Improve perceptions of disability and impairment
Lead to greater social cohesion and understanding @So2012

Spirit of 2012 is a registered charity (1155110) and a limited company (8474083) in England and Wales

inFocus Enterprises is the trading name of Acumen Social Enterprises Ltd which was established as a for-profit social enterprise in 2008 by Dr Damian Hatton. Over the period, it has developed a sophisticated suite of methodologies and tools to help organisations operating within the social sector to focus upon the impact they are trying to make in the world. Drawing upon trainings, software, a broad network of expert researchers and evidence-based knowledge resources, inFocus are committed to the smart use of data to drive the development of the social sector.  @impactinfocus

Acumen Social Enterprises Ltd is a limited company (7260541) in England and Wales

Media Enquiries: Head of Business Development & Partnerships, Richard Bennett +44 (0)207 7545412