The ‘Year Zero’ Reporting Approach

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Sarah Thelwall

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When MyCake and Renaisi were commissioned by Power to Change to evaluate the financial impact of the Community Business Fund (CBF), Bright Ideas (BI) and Trade Up (TU) programmes on community businesses, they faced certain challenges. Amongst others, how can the financial impact of a single grant programme be isolated amongst all activities undertaken over a multi-year period by numerous community businesses?

In response to such challenges, MyCake and Renaisi developed a data reporting approachto better understand the financial impact of funding and investment programmes on community businesses (and other trading organisations) – and called this the ‘Year Zero reporting approach’. This approach can allow funders and evaluators to clearly see the different trajectories in growth that community businesses experience before and after receiving funding. In particular, it creates a common starting point for funding programmes which run over multiple years and have multiple intake points; whereas reporting by calendar or financial year would aggregate data in ways which would mask progress post-funding.

The paper explains what the Year Zero reporting approach is and why it is beneficial.

Read the Power to Change blog here and you can access the full report via the Institute for Community Studies website.