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3 tips to evidence the social impact of your sport organisation

Sport is widely acknowledged to have a beneficial impact on society, and researchers have conducted significant studies to investigate the social benefits of community sport for individuals and communities.

These studies have yielded evidence for positive impacts generated in areas of physical health improvement, mental health improvement, educational development, social capital improvement and crime reduction. 

In fact, research by Sport England revealed that in 2018/19, £71.61 billion in social value was generated by community sport, with £42 billion being generated through health benefits, £20 billion being generated through social capital benefits and £282 million being generated from educational development benefits. 


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Hence, community sport organisations, as the primary deliverers of sport in communities, play a vital role in the positive development of individuals and communities.

Through this article, we explore some tips on how community sport organisations can evidence the impact they are generating in communities in order to preserve and grow their sport activities.


Evidencing Social Impacts of Community Sport Organisations

Since the emergence of a growing body of evidence correlating community sport with positive social impacts, there is increasing importance being placed on the reporting of these impacts in sport funding decisions. 

For many community sport organisations, effectively reporting their impact can be a challenge due to a lack of time or knowledge resources. However, being able to report on the positive outcomes and benefits of your programmes is crucial for attracting funding and support. Here are some practical steps you can take to effectively report your impact:

  1. Collect Data: Regularly collecting data about the activities your organisation delivers and the participants you engage is a crucial first step. This data can help you track participation levels, identify trends, and measure the impact of your programmes.
  2. Record and Report Engagement: Funders and governing bodies often want to see data about participation and volunteering within your organisation. Keeping an attendance record and regularly updating it can help you track participation and volunteering in activities. This information can then be used to report on the engagement levels and impact of your programmes.
  3. Correlate Impacts: To effectively report on the impact of your programmes, it's important to correlate your participation and volunteering records with existing research on the impact of sport. Organisations like Sport England have published useful resources on the impact of sport, which can be a good place to start. By using this research to analyse your own data, you can identify the positive outcomes and benefits of your programmes and effectively report on your impact.

By following these practical steps, community sport organisations can effectively report their impact and attract funding and support for their programmes. While it may take some time and effort, the benefits of being able to demonstrate the impact of your programmes can be invaluable for the long-term sustainability and success of your organisation.


How SportFin can help with social impact reporting?

SportFin has built automated tools for collecting data and reporting the impact of sport. By simply digitising a community sport organisation’s day-to-day activities, SportFin is able to report participation and volunteering rates, demographic and activity data, and the social impacts that are being generated for individuals and communities (thanks to our unique impact correlations model).

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The analysed data can then be visualised through various graphing tools and be embedded anywhere – in reports, presentations, website or even crowdfunding posts! 

Find out more about the social impact analytics tools SportFin provides here