How we create change, and how we prove and improve our approach

SSE isn’t just one organisation helping some people. We support more than 1,000 leaders of social change each year, who in turn help tens of thousands of people and tackle endless social and environmental problems. Supporting social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs means we can massively multiply our impact.

It’s something we like to call “the SSE effect”…

Want an in-depth look at SSE’s recent work?

Read our 2017-18 Trustees Annual Report

You can also read the evaluations at the bottom of this page. Please contact us for further info.

SSE’s theory of change

A “theory of change” is a way of explaining the overall change in society that an organisation hopes to create, and how all the things the organisation does aim to create that change.

In the slides below, the blue circles illustrate what we do. They show the activities SSE undertakes to support individuals on a learning journey and the outcomes that are achieved for the student and their organisation.

The pink circles illustrate what we enable. They show the outcomes achieved by the student and their organisation for people and communities… and how, by being part of the SSE community, we achieve social change together.

(Can’t read the slides? Download a pdf of SSE’s theory of change here.)

How we measure our impact

As a charity, we know how important it is to measure the impact of our work. It helps us prove that SSE makes a difference to society. It also guides us on improving our work where things haven’t gone as we expected.

We internally evaluate all our courses, to ensure they meet expectations, and so we can keep learning.

Every few years, we also invite external organisations to evaluate our work. This gives us a completely unbiased view of SSE’s work, including hard data on the impact we have on our students and their organisations.

Download our major external evaluations below.

External evaluations of SSE’s impact

Social Impact Review: LLoyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with SSE (2016)

CAN Invest and Numbers for Good evaluated our biggest UK programme, looking at the impact of its first five years.

Download report

A Report on Social Enterprise Training in the UK (2013)

In 2013 we contracted Mark Richardson, of Social Impact Consulting, to carry out research examining the training needs of social entrepreneurs in the UK.  The key findings, which we have used to shape our course offering, are available in this summary report.

Download report

Scaling to Success Evaluation (2011)

Completed by Rocket Science, this evaluation looks at Scaling to Success, a 2010/2011 pilot training programme delivered by SSE.  The programme has since evolved to become ‘Replication and Social Franchising‘, which is still delivered each year.

Download report

Impact Evaluation Report (2011)

New Philanthropy Capital completed an organisation-wide impact evaluation, looking at SSE’s impact from 1997 to 2011.

Download report

SSE Cultural Leadership Programme (2008)

The New Economics Foundation evaluated the efficacy and transformative effect of the SSE approach and methodology. It looked at students of our Cultural Leadership Programme 2007/2008, and their organisations.

Download report

Want to help us create more impact?

Find out how you can support SSE’s work