Wow, we’re amazed to say that we were able to open up the results section of the MyCake run RFO Benchmark the first day after the ACE submission deadline! So if you’d like to join us (you can’t see the results unless you submit your own data … gotta give to get!) click here and pick the third of the three service levels available.
Of course what really matters is what the RFO’s are saying about it so here’s a few words from one or two of them from our chats so far:
“This is really useful information. We are currently reviewing our business model so to be able to benchmark how we are doing in the sector is key at this time. It is really interesting to learn that financially we are already very lean in staffing and overheads in comparison with other organisations. Now we can use this to inform the development of our future operation.”
Jo Bushnell, Director, Aspex Gallery
“Once I got the hang of it, it was simpler to enter data onto MyCake than on to the RFO survey itself. I found it really useful to see the percentages immediately … I used this as a sense check and spotted several mistakes (in my calculations) which I corrected before submitting the version to ACE.”
Anon, SW Region
So, what benefits can you expect to enjoy from this FREE benchmark?
There are three key benefits for regularly funded organisations using the Culture Benchmark in addition to the ACE’s own RFO survey. Firstly the speed with which results can be accessed – the results are available immediately the minimum data set volume has been met, rather than once all data has been received. This should be in late July so that RFOs can make an initial benchmark of their survey answers within the Culture Benchmark before submitting the same data to ACE.
The second benefit is that contributors will be able to slice and dice the data as they see fit. The RFO Culture Benchmark is a secure online data tool rather than a static excel spreadsheet, making analysis and comparison of the aggregated data more immediate and flexible. In particular it allows RFOs to ask questions of the data that matter to them. For example to filter the data so that it only shows a set of comparisons for a region, one type of art form or organisations with a similar turnover. The benchmark system also allows a filter by up to two factors at the same time and can filter by any of the lines of data in the survey. So, if an RFO wanted to make comparisons based on the makeup of the board or the diversity of its staff it could do this.
Finally, making use of the RFO Culture Benchmark has the ability to change the relationship between the RFO and its ACE officer. Instead of waiting to receive the survey results in the ACE annual review meeting, and RFO can review the benchmark before going into the meeting and will be in a position to participate in a rich discussion of the strengths and weaknesses as shown in the RFO survey results and benchmark. The benchmark is an excellent tool to prepared thoughts on the changes RFOs will be making.
Now, a couple of important points to note:
- this is a very early and very provisional set of results that will change as more data sets get added over the next few weeks. This also means that all the filtering capability (by sector, by size of organisation, by region) whilst functional won’t show anything useful just yet as there won’t be enough data for this. At the time of publishing this post we have a data set of >10 but <20 organisations … just to give you an idea of what we mean by a ‘small’ dataset!
- only those who submit data can see results - we’ve always worked on the basis that you have to contribute in order to gain benefit! So if you’ve not yet submitted data join the throng and gain the benefit
- we’ve noticed one or two minor errors in a couple of the calculations … so whilst all the data you submit is correct the analysis we do needs tweaking in a couple of places. If you spot any more do tell us … we’re not perfect yet but aiming for it! The one we’d draw your attention to is the calculation in the finances section in q2 – the cost of generating funds isn’t reading as a percentage nor is it adding into the total. It’ll be corrected shortly!
So, if you’d like to join the RFO Benchmark (it’s free) click here and select the 3rd of the three options in terms of type of service