Increasing pressures on associations and foundations in Finland are adding to the need for organisations to prove their impact in their reporting if they are to garner support into the future. Speaking at a seminar in Helsinki last month, Mika Pyykkö from Finnish innovation fund Sitra presented his view of the change needed to the operating practices of social purpose organisations and others in Finland if they are to prosper into the future.
The Transparent Reporting in the 2020s seminar was hosted by PwC on 16 November 2018 and brought together over 60 guests to hear experts share their insights on impact reporting. The event emphasised the importance of highlighting impact, of collaboration for better evaluation of impact, and the implications for reporting.
Several mindset changes are required, Pyykkö said, such as:
– Impact is often best created through collaboration between various parties
– The role of the service provider should change from an executor to an innovative producer of impact
– The chain of impact should be described by modelling societal benefit with the model based on recognising the root causes and opportunities behind the desired change
The Hyvän Mitta project was cited as one example of strong collaboration between different types of operators. This project sees a number of organisations, including Arvoliitto, Sitra, the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations, the Ministry of Culture and Education, the Finnish National Agency for Education and the Prime Minister’s Office collaborate to collect impact data and train operators to evaluate the real impact of their own work. It is also creating models for impact-based agreements with the aim of demonstrating the results and impact of societally important work in a comprehensible and commensurate way.
Representatives from some of the organisations involved also spoke on the importance of recognising genuine impact, and shared their insights on the process of impact evaluation.
The event also saw PwC representatives Jaana Salmi, Johanna Ala-Härkönen and Miikka Vinnikainen share their views on the need for change in reporting and communication by Finnish organisations. They highlighted the need to better build trust as a key driver for change, which is leading organisations to try to create real and measurable impact as well as better, more trustworthy communications, and to better manage reputational risk.
The event closed with a presentation by PwC’s Sirpa Juutinen on models for impact evaluation. Juutinen demonstrated how while several different models and terms for impact evaluation exist, most contain at least the basic elements of inputs, activities, outcome and impact, and how brainstorming impact value modelling through various models, can help to find new perspectives as well as test the chosen model and terminology.