Thursday 1 April 2010

What Independent Research Actually Shows!

For the record, here is a summary of the Research and Evaluation report published yesterday from Sheffield Hallam University.

- Successful fund proven to build capacity of third sector organisations to deliver public sector contracts-

Independent evaluation commissioned by the Office of the Third Sector and undertaken by a consortium led by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR at Sheffield Hallam University) confirms positive impact of Futurebuilders Fund.

The evaluation assesses the impact of the Futurebuilders Fund, a government pilot scheme, as to whether it increases the capacity of the voluntary and community sector to deliver public services. A copy of the report can be found via the link. Click here.

Futurebuilders provides loans, grants and business support to third sector organisations in England to help them bid for, win and deliver public service contracts. The Fund provides support for organisations that would not have access to commercial funding.

Key findings from the report include:

• Futurebuilders builds the capacity of the third sector to deliver public services.

• Of the case studies evaluated for net savings, public service delivery contracts won by investees provide a net saving to the public sector purchaser. Of the studies evaluated in the report, there were net savings to the public purse of between £600 thousand and £5 million after ten years.

• Investments are largely additional – investee organisations would not have secured investment funding at the same scale and at the same time from commercial sources, such as banks.

• Futurebuilders investees were not found to be displacing existing services – service capacity was found overwhelmingly to be additional to existing provision.

• The management costs as a proportion of the loan book appear lower than comparable government backed social investment organisations.

• Futurebuilders has evolved considerably since its inception. Under the second management:

o the average time from agreement to invest to the first draw down has reduced from 448 days to 125 days

o there has been a rise in applications from and investment in small third sector organisations

o the conversion rate of applications to investments has increased from 24% to 40%.

Futurebuilders demonstrates a model for social investment that works and works to scale, but there is still a huge unmet demand for funding - we have been receiving enquiries of up to £90m a month. We will continue to explore innovative ways to bring more money into the sector.

1 comment:

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