• AI social machinable

Machines for Good – The human face of artificial intelligence

by Nicolas Ponset

There has been much commentary and debate about the potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to have a detrimental impact on society from being a threat to our data privacy to destroying employment. Whether […]

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Shifting from CSR to the UN SDGs: Where We’re Headed

by Tanner Taddeo

The changing tide of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting

Every company, charity to fortune 500, creates ‘impact’ (vis-à-vis material effects) on society and environment. New models are needed to objectively define, benchmark, and report […]

Outcomes-based contracting for integrated care

by Jill Carman

Health and social care: the need for change

Health and social care in the UK is fragmented. An ageing population makes this an increasingly pressing problem – people are living longer, presenting with multiple […]

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Transparency and Storytelling in Impact Reporting

At the Art of Impact event held by Blackbaud on the 1st March 2017, Matt Stevenson-Dodd, the CEO of Street League since 2010, shared his insights and perspectives on transparency and storytelling in impact reporting by non-profit sector […]

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David Hounsell speaks at ‘The Art of Impact’ event

On March 1st, Blackbaud hosted ‘The Art of Impact’, an event focused on demonstrating impact and outcomes as a non-profit organisation. The audience of non-profit leaders heard talks from two experts, followed by a lively […]

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Access Impact Management Programme

Aleron is delighted to have been appointed an approved provider for the new two-year Impact Management Programme, funded by the Access Foundation and Power to Change. The Impact Management Programme aims to build the capacity of charities […]

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Driving Impact Through Networks – Briefing Paper

“Alone we can do little; together we can do so much”

Organisations are increasingly realising the power of networks to create the greatest impact for society. Working collaboratively with a network of partners can increase your […]

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Network Impact Event, 1st December 2016

On the 1st of December 2016, Aleron and Sinzer co-hosted an event bringing together over 50 leaders from charities, foundations, investors, and peak bodies to discuss network impact. At the event a range of experts […]

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Taking control of your analytics journey

by Nicolas Ponset, Chief Executive at Aleron

The quantity of data being generated each year is increasing exponentially. The opportunity to use data to transform how organisations operate, manage talent, and create value is growing at […]

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The Rise of Network Impact Measurement

by Angela Wu and Jill Carman, Consultants at Aleron

It is common for organisations to overlook their wider impact beyond their beneficiaries and on other organisations and the extended community. Capturing wider impact and knock-on effects is […]

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Charity fundraising: responding to turbulent times

by Jasper Joyce, Consultant at Aleron

It has been a turbulent twelve months for charity fundraising. Across the UK fundraising sector as a whole, several examples of poor fundraising practice have been exposed, and there has […]

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How can Scottish charities overcome the challenge of declining public trust?

by Christine Corlet-Walker, Consultant at Aleron (Scotland)

In June, Scottish Charity Regulator OSCR released its research findings from The Scottish Charity Surveys 2016. The report highlighted a decline in the public’s trust in Scottish charities in […]

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Beyond Collaboration: Can impact define a sector?

by Jasper Joyce, Consultant at Aleron

Last week we attended an inspiring workshop of youth leaders discussing and debating ‘collective impact’. Collective Impact is a concept and approach that is increasingly capturing the imagination of the […]

  • Evolve blog

Helping young people make the most of their education

by Christine Corlet Walker, Consultant at Aleron

Over recent weeks there has been extensive policy debate on what makes for a good education. Should schools focus on attainment? Is selection within the education system beneficial for young people? […]

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Sinzer partners with Aleron

We are proud to announce a new partnership!

Sinzer is a solution for measuring and maximizing impact. Its mission is to make social impact measurement accessible and cost-efficient through our software solutions and services, in order to […]

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Leaders Series: Roberta d’Eustachio Editor in Chief & Founder of Giving Magazine

For our Leader Series this month we spoke to Roberta d’Eustachio the Founder and Editor in Chief of Giving Magazine, a monthly digital magazine that connects philanthropists and social investors around the world with content about charities, […]

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Leaders Series: Jem Stein Director & Founder of the Bike Project

For our Leader Series this month we spoke with Jem Stein, the winner of the Lloyds Bank 2015  Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  Jem is the director of the Bike Project, a social […]

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The GECES Standard: A solution to the dilemma of achieving common ground in social impact measurement

Dr. Saneeya Qureshi and Dr. Richard Hazenberg  from the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact at the University of Northampton have written an article making a case for the European Commission’s (EC’s) ‘Groupe d’Experts de […]

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Evolve wins Big Potential grant with Aleron


Evolve has won a £60,000 contract readiness grant from Big Potential, which will assist the research that is necessary for them to apply for £1million of funding to enhance Health Mentor […]

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Leaders Series: Aidan Rave Interim UK Director of Strategy at Barnardo’s

For our Leader Series this month, we interviewed Aidan Rave, the Interim UK Director of Strategy at Barnardo’s. Aidan joined the business sector after his experience in politics serving as Deputy Mayor of the Doncaster […]

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Performance Management in Mission Driven Organisations

Working with our clients, we’ve seen a full range of responses to the term ‘performance management’. At one extreme, a complete unquestioning embrace; at the other, outright distrust, with suspicion of the intrusion of yet […]

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Social Impact & Income Generation Seminar

Follow Aleron on Twitter @AleronOrg or tweet about our seminars using #Aleron_Seminar

On Wednesday 24th February Aleron convened a group of fundraising & social impact senior leaders to tackle a hot topic in the sector: how social […]

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Health patients user satisfaction: asking a few simple questions

Patient satisfaction has fallen within the National Health Service. In the latest wave of the British Social Attitudes survey, public satisfaction with the health service overall fell from 60% to 55% driven by longer waiting […]

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Leaders Series: Noel Gordon Non-Executive Director of NHS England

This month we interviewed Noel Gordon, Non-Executive Director of the NHS and Chair of Specialised Services Commissioning Committee, as part of our Leaders Series. After an early career focused on corporate restructuring, Noel was first […]

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Leaders Series: Muna Wehbe CEO of the Stars Foundation

We are pleased to introduce our new series of interviews: the Leaders series. To kick off 2016, we interviewed Muna Wehbe, CEO of Stars Foundation.  Set up in 2001, the Stars Foundation invests in organisations […]

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Thought Leadership in Fundraising – an Aleron and Blackbaud Europe Event

On the 8th December, Aleron and Blackbaud Europe co-hosted an evening of talks and networking with charity leaders and fundraising experts from across the UK, including representatives from Tearfund, Crisis, RSPB, University College London, Barnardo’s, […]

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Smart segmentation: using facts, not presumptions

Following our recent insights on data visualisation and trustee engagement, this month’s newsletter picks up on one of the sector’s hottest – and probably most disputed – topics: supporter segmentation. Most organisations, from social enterprises […]

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Patients should have control of their medical data: An interview with Mohammad Al-Ubaydli of Patients know best

This month we interviewed Dr. Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, Founder and CEO of Patients Know Best, as part of the Ashoka Series.  Launched in July 2008, Patients Know Best is empowering 2.3 million patients by giving them […]

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Social performance due diligence is not a simple add-on to financial due diligence

NICOLAS PONSET, chief executive and founder of social impact consultancy ALERON,  has written a blog post for Charities Times on social due diligence. He discusses the challenges of social  due diligence for social investors and […]

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Learnings from Trustees’ Week: how integrated performance reporting can transform the trustee experience

The sixth Trustees’ Week came to an end last week Friday. Despite a large number of successful events, the week revealed a disconcerting disparity between charities’ expectations and trustees’ actions. In particular, since the downfall […]

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A peer-led approach to reducing reoffending: An interview with Junior Smart of St. Giles’ SOS Project

This month we interviewed Junior Smart, Founder and Team Leader of St. Giles’ SOS Project, as part of our Ashoka Series. Launched as a pilot project in 2006, SOS is now London’s largest project tackling […]

  • data-visualisation

Data Visualisation – Empowering Your Staff

By the end of 2015, the global annual rate of data production is expected to reach 5.6 zettabytes, double the rate of growth in 2012, according to IDC. However, data doesn’t provide executives and other […]

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Getting young people into politics: An interview with Michael Sani of Bite The Ballot

This month, we interviewed Michael Sani, co-founder and CEO of Bite The Ballot, as part of our Ashoka Series. Founded in 2010, Bite The Ballot uses grassroots campaigning and digital tools to engage young people […]

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Charity Impact Measurement and Performance Management

NICOLAS PONSET, chief executive and founder of social impact consultancy ALERON,  has written a blog post for Charities Management on impact measurement and performance management. He discusses the broader benefits for charities of approaching impact […]

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Tackling Rare Diseases in the UK: an interview with Nick Sireau of Findacure

This month, we interviewed Dr Nick Sireau, Co-founder and Chairman of Findacure, as part of our Ashoka Series. Founded in 2012, Findacure aims to help patients and find treatments for rare and ultra-rare diseases. Nick […]

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Dissecting the debate on fundraising regulation

Magdalena Kuenkel, Consultant at Aleron, has written an article on the importance of reforming the fundraising regulations. Therefore, she analyses the current regulation of Charity Fundraising in the UK.

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Mental illness in the third world: An interview with Chris Underhill of BasicNeeds

This month, we interviewed Chris Underhill, founder and director of BasicNeeds, as part of our Ashoka Series. Founded in 1999, BasicNeeds seeks to improve the lives of those living with mental illness in the third […]

  • Dame Stephanie

In Conversation with Dame Stephanie Shirley

On June 23 Aleron hosted Dame Stephanie Shirley for a compelling evening in London Bridge. Interviewed by Roberta d’Eustachio, Dame Stephanie shared anecdotes about her life, gave valuable advices on good philanthropy and engaged with […]

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Children and criminal justice in the UK: An interview with Shauneen Lambe of Just for Kids Law

This month, we interviewed the inspirational barrister Shauneen Lambe, co-founder and executive director of Just for Kids Law. Founded in 2006, Just for Kids Law works to reframe the way the criminal justice system interacts […]

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A new partnership between Aleron and the Office for Public Management

Aleron and the Office for Public Management (OPM) are pleased to announce a new partnership between the two organisations. By combining our expertise and capabilities in social impact, we are able to offer a unique […]

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A new way of defining the workplace: everyone can be a changemaker. An interview with Adam Lent of Ashoka

This interview outlines Ashoka’s vision of social entrepreneurship, innovation and new leadership. We asked Adam Lent, researcher and expert on social innovation, to talk about his new role at Ashoka and how he is trying […]

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5 things charities should hope to see after the 2015 General Elections

As the nation heads out to vote and we eagerly await the results, many in the sector have already begun wondering what it will mean for them. The promises of politicians are fickle friends at […]

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Theory of Change – Achieving your intended impact

Theory of Change has become an increasingly popular measurement and evaluation tool used to implement social change in government agencies, international NGOs and other major organisations. At first glance it may appear to be just […]

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Growth as the return on investment for impact measurement

Social sector organisations and for-profit corporations alike have been subject to much rhetoric about why impact measurement matters – some of it here on this very blog. However, at the start of a new fiscal […]

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5 guiding principles to becoming truly innovative

Innovation has become a buzzword in the social sector, with innovation units, labs, and funds appearing with increasing frequency. However, while a dedicated ‘innovation department’ or large pools of innovation resource can indeed support the […]

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How to choose the right partner organisation

Partnering is foundational to the social sector. Strategic alliances can be formed between a variety of sector actors – charities and service providers, social enterprises, philanthropists, corporates, government – in order to ultimately create social […]

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‘Maximising the impact of philanthropic giving’ – external blog post on Charities Management

Katelyn Cioffi, Principal at Aleron, has written a blog post for Charities Management on maximising the impact on philanthropic giving. Charities Management produces in-depth and quality editorials, providing a discussion forum for the charity sector. […]

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‘4 golden principles to consider when embarking on a philanthropic journey’ – external blog post on City Philanthropy

Aleron’s Principal, Katelyn Cioffi, has written a blog post for City Philanthropy on the four golden principles to consider when beginning a philanthropic journey. City Philanthropy aims to promote more effective philanthropy among City professionals […]

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‘Overcoming inconsistent decision-making in philanthropy’ – external blog post on Alliance blog

Alliance has published a blog post written by Aleron’s Principal, Katelyn Cioffi, on overcoming inconsistent decision-making in the philanthropic sector. Alliance aims to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas among philanthropists, social investors and […]

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6 pitfalls to avoid when writing bids

For many charities and social enterprises, bid writing for grants applications, contracts, or other types of funding is increasingly demanding in terms of time and resources. Some organisations are even developing bid writing “factories” where […]

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OECD “Social impact investment: building the evidence base”

Download the report here

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The future of the UK social investment market – panel discussion

The UK is the global market leader in terms of social investment. Although it is still gaining traction and there is more distance to cover, there are a lot of positive things happening. For our […]

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An introduction to social investment

Over the last decade central and local government funding for charitable organisations has been cut back as a result of the drive to reduce the deficit, and donations from members of the public are also […]

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Aleron’s Social Leadership Network mentioned in Third Sector

Aleron’s panel discussion on the future of social investment in the UK was mentioned in an article by Third Sector. The discussion, which featured panelists Marta Garcia (Project Lead at Social Finance), Liam Duffy (Commercial […]

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City Philanthropy features ‘Principles of high-impact altruism’

City Philanthropy has featured Aleron’s recent study on accelerating the transformation of the philanthropic sector, ‘Principles of high-impact altruism’. City Philanthropy aims to promote more effective philanthropy among City professionals earlier in their careers. To […]

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4 steps to becoming a user-centric organisation

Across all sectors, the idea that people are not just passive recipients of a service, but are active participants – with agency and opinions – has become a hugely influential principle. Many commercial enterprises have […]

  • Scoreboard

Keeping score: how balanced scorecards can help charities improve

It is tempting to assume that putting in place a strategy will guarantee positive results. A strong vision, clear objectives, a plan – there is no doubt that all of these elements are critical to […]

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New Aleron study: Principles of high-impact altruism

Our latest study, Principles of high-impact altruism: Accelerating the transformation of the philanthropic sector, challenges philanthropists to think about their ways of working, and how they can achieve results in the most efficient and effective […]

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Joining the data revolution

Data is everywhere in our lives. Vast quantities of data are being created on a daily basis – an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. From our commutes, trips to the supermarket, and […]

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6 principles for changing organisational culture

Cultural change is notoriously difficult to achieve, especially in non-profit organisations with strong value-based cultures and passionate staff and managers. However, improving the culture of an organisation can be a powerful tool to improve efficiency, […]

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The 6 keys steps for an effective creative workshop

Many senior managers know the frustration that comes with unproductive or disruptive workshops that fail to generate new ideas or foster greater collaboration. Yet at organisations all across the world, the traditional brainstorming session is […]

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‘Returning to the fundamentals of social value creation’ – ACEVO guest blog

Aleron’s CEO, Nicolas Ponset, has contributed to the ACEVO guest blog on how social sector leaders can ensure they create social value. ACEVO is the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and is the leading […]

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Returning to the fundamentals of Social Value Creation

It is a sobering exercise to question whether your organisation is truly delivering the best possible results for the beneficiaries it has pledged to serve. However, it is also the single most important question that […]

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Successfully implementing strategic plans

Our last perspective on Business Planning is about how to ensure an effective realisation of the strategic plan. We found that organisations who successfully implemented their strategy focused their efforts on four key elements:

An […]

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Q&A with Nicolas Ponset: Becoming a trustee

Which organisation are you a trustee for?

I am a trustee and the treasurer of Handicap International UK (HI UK). Handicap International is an independent aid organisation working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and […]

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‘Building the Capacity for Impact’ – research by Impetus-PEF (with feedback from Aleron)

We were happy to provide input for Impetus-PEF’s new report on impact readiness, ‘Building the
Capacity for Impact’. The report examines the capacities needed by the social sector to deliver the aims of the social investment market, and […]

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Business Planning Series: Identifying change initiatives

In 2012, the French President Francois Hollande was elected under the campaign slogan “The Change is Now”; 2 years later, his popularity has reached an all-time low of 13%. Change is difficult. When an organisation […]

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Business Planning Series: Building a compelling business case for change

The words ‘change initiative’ can cause concern for many organisations. Change is expensive and, all too often, change initiatives fall by the wayside due to problems with funding or execution. In the business planning process, […]

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Impetus-PEF “Building Capacity for Impact”

Download the report here

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Business Planning Series: Organisational Efficiency

Whilst it is essential for organisations to have a clear idea of their intended impact, their operating model – the internal structures, processes, and culture that keep the organisation ticking – is key to ensuring […]

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Business Planning Series: Defining your strategic vision

Clear strategic objectives that are aligned to an organisation’s mission are critical to any successful business plan. Many find, however, that deriving these objectives can be a challenging process, as an organisation needs to ask […]

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Business Planning Series: Introduction

The business planning process offers decision makers a rare opportunity to step back and look at their organisation as a whole. It is a time to analyse the ecosystem in which it operates; connect the […]

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Diagnosing organisational health

Regular diagnostics, or “health checks”, enable charities and social enterprises to best understand the issues and factors that affect them as a whole. Diagnostics both help organisations to identify strategic or functional areas that need attention or are working well; and also enable them to take appropriate steps to resolve issues and share best practice with other parts of the organisation.

Diagnostics should not be seen as costly or unessential exercises – in fact, they can considerably contribute to an organisation’s investment readiness, with potential benefits such as cost savings, increased organisational efficiencies, improvements to the operating model, clearer strategic focus, and a more cohesive approach to change initiatives and impact management. […]

  • Strategy

Why operating models are critical to fulfilling organisational objectives

Over the last few years, large organisations have started to review their structures and processes to drive consistency, better support their staff, reduce costs and provide better management information. The operating model is a key […]

Adapting the balanced scorecard for use in charities and foundations

In the past two decades, numerous organisations have implemented a ‘Balanced Scorecard’ framework to measure their performance and help deliver their strategies. While the scorecard was initially built for organisations with purely commercial goals, many […]

Why charities should look at new ways of measuring impact

Measuring and assessing social impact creates an opportunity for charities and foundations to identify organisational strengths and weakness and to improve the quality of their work. With increasing competition for limited funds and demands for […]