Follow-up on webinar with Fiona Halton, CEO of Pilotlight

Date

July 1, 2013

Thank you for joining us last week for the webinar with Fiona Halton, CEO of Pilotlight UK, on how to effectively mobilize human capital towards social causes. We spent an hour discussing the Pilotlight model of engaging corporate volunteers, the challenges of matching human capital needs of charities and how to measure effectively the results of these efforts.For those of you who signed up but couldn’t participate, you can download a recording of the webinar by clicking on this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/981967588996579328. *You will need to register to download this recording.You can access Fiona’s slides through the viewer below. Many of the participants asked good questions of the Pilotlight model during the webinar and we could not get round to answering them all. Fiona and her team have compiled some responses to the questions that have been raised and you will find them below.1. Measurement: how did you compare your results against a control group?Extract from 2010 Pilotlight report on control group:“Historically Pilotlight has measured the percentage change in income of its partner charities over the 3 years following completion of the Pilotlight project and compared this to the charities’ income prior to the project start. So, for example, for 2010 this average change was 46% in the year following the project completion; this figure is substantially higher than the c 15% average “sector” growth.The average UK charity income grows at 4.3% annually, so during the (typically) three years from baseline to being a year out of being Pilotlit the average charity would increase its income by about 15%.Figures for average sector growth are taken from NCVO data looking at all charities and only up to the end of 2008, before the recession, whereas figures for our charities and social enterprises went up to the first quarter of 2010. Our growth figures are only for small charities and social enterprises with turnover of less than £3m and more often in the £100,000 range. An nfp Synergy report puts average annual growth for these at 3.5%, not the 4.3% NCVO uses. This would mean average sector growth of 11.5% over three years as opposed to 13.5%.The above analysis raises the question of what constitutes success for Pilotlight. We have also tried to look at attrition rates in the charitable sector. This is not measured- however the Charities Commission register shows 20% of charities being removed between 2003 and 2009. For Pilotlight charities between 2003 and 2010 the attrition rate was 8%. “2. Measurement: please elaborate further on how you measured the social impact of Pilotlight’s workPlease refer to our evaluation survey:3. Human Capital: how can we measure the value to the business of employees engaging in charitiesPlease refer to our evaluation survey above.4. Model: how would you replicate your work to AsiaAt present Pilotlight has no plans to replicate its work abroad. We are happy to share the principles of our model and will be doing so in the workshops with AVPN later this year.5. Model: how can a charity or social enterprise implement your model with a group of mentors (without an intermediary organization)It is not possible to implement our model without a project manager. However there are some principles of our work that might help a charity with a group of mentors:

  1. Ensure you do the administration, not the mentor e.g that someone from your organisation fixes the time of the meeting and notes it and that you are flexible in terms of timing, accommodating the mentors’ diary, so that the mentors’ time is not spent in administration but in helping you
  2. Start off with a series of analysis meetings with the mentors, best with your business plan to hand, if you have one, to get understand more what you really need and what they are best placed to give you.
  3. Ask four basic questions: where are you now?  where do you want to go? how are you going to get there? how do you know where you are on the journey and when you’ve arrived?
  4. Be clear with the mentors that they are there to coach you and ask questions rather than give you answers. That way you will acquire the tools to go forward for yourself
  5. Make sure that the entire organisation, both trustees and staff, are in agreement to work with mentors and will value their input
  6. Measure what you do and feed back your progress to your mentors

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