10. Using Evidence to Grow Impact /

10.5 Influencing others


We use our evidence to influence relevant policies and services.

To meet the standard in full, you use the evidence available to understand the needs of the people you serve and represent their views. You also use the information to influence policy-makers, shape other services and lobby for the solutions you provide.

The impact evidence gathered can be used to make changes outside of your social enterprise as well as inside.

There are often things outside of your control that require wider systemic change, to public policy, or the work of government or other programs. So, consider how you can use your evidence to influence others for the good of your beneficiaries.

The impact evidence you have gathered might mean you are particularly well placed to understand the needs of a beneficiary group, the problems they experience, and the gaps or barriers they experience.

As a social enterprise you have a responsibility to share what you have learned and try to shift the perspectives and decisions of others.

Try to use all of the evidence you have to build a case and to exert influence in a targeted way. Think about this as a campaign:

  • Set a clear and realistic campaign goal.
  • Shape a clear and compelling message you want to get across.
  • Compile the evidence you have to build a logical case.
  • Build support from others that share your goal.
  • Identify the right people and decisions you must influence.
  • Think creatively about the tactics that will shift their perspective.

Ensure that you clearly communicate a solution to the problem, present well-informed and logical arguments, and enter into discussions in the spirit of collaboration, working in order to further your position.

You can find out more about how to communicate your evidence effectively in Section 9, and in Course 10 of the Impact Practice series you can find out how to use economic and other evidence to maximise your influence.