CAN Invest - Our approach

Social impact measurement, reporting and analysis

Since 2007, CAN Impact has helped social organisations measure and evidence the social value they create.

We do this through advisory work, training and mentoring, and designing bespoke measurement and reporting frameworks for organisations.

Understanding your organisation’s social value can help you to:

  • Maximise your mission and inform growth strategies by focusing resources on areas of highest impact
  • Prepare to take on social investment by developing a compelling impact case
  • Negotiate contracts for services or develop the business case for new services
  • Communicate the value of the work you do to a diverse set of stakeholders
  • Support organisational effectiveness by aligning all areas of the impact framework and guarding against mission drift and impact risk.

Regardless of what service we provide, we have a number of principles which are core to our approach and we believe maximise the value of the work for our clients:

  • Focus on capacity building: we develop the capability of organisations to conduct social impact measurement themselves, and leave a lasting ‘legacy’ of impact measurement. We provide recommendations for how the organisation can continue to improve in the future.

“The results were fantastic and will enable us to demonstrate the value of our services to partners and stakeholders. It will enable us to evaluate the success and outcomes of service delivery, it will enable us to demonstrate the value of the service at all levels, and not just monetary. It will strengthen bids and tenders for services”

Gill Byrant, Porchlight



  • Be clear on purpose: we do not believe social impact measurement should be for its own sake. We make sure we understand the reasons why our clients need to evidence their social value, and ensure the products we design and deliver are focused on this goal.

“Good debates which helped to develop our understanding of what we are trying to achieve and how. It also showed up areas where we were not yet clear or in agreement amongst ourselves. They provided very good facilitation to help us think through what we are trying to achieve and how we can demonstrate our impact”

Adrian Sell, OXPIP


  • Be a critical friend: we look critically at our clients’ current social impact framework and plans and challenge where appropriate. This involves asking questions but also suggesting potential solutions that may not have been considered before.

“CAN has a very collaborative approach to their work, investing time to understand their clients’ needs, and willing to take on board emerging issues and concerns even as the project develops. We have found that working together with an external ‘critical friend’ has enabled us to step back and think about our work in a more objective way”

Pamela Park, Family Lives


  • Focus on beneficiaries: as a charity and social enterprise ourselves, we understand that your first priority is to serve your beneficiaries. With this in mind, we help you build a measurement system that helps you serve them, rather than distracts you from your core purpose.

“CAN Invest were very flexible, produced good-quality content, and most importantly they were very professional and sensitive to the needs of our parents. This was vital to the project, and helped ensure its success”

Ian Sansbury, PACE


  • Integrate impact measurement: we believe impact measurement should be at the core of impact-led organisations. We will help you take impact measurement beyond reporting to something that is integrated into your organisation, from strategy to operations.

“This work will improve service delivery and ensure resources are allocated to those activities that provide greatest social benefit as well as financial return. CAN provided a bridge between the academic research and practical implementation of our social impact measurement”

Neil Fenton, London Early Years Foundation




Examples of work we have done can be found here, and you can find more details about our approach to impact here.

If you would like to talk directly to a member of the team, contact us now!