Impact and learning
Applying a learning ethos to everything we do
What does learning look like at City Bridge Foundation?
Evidence and learning underpin all our work, and our Impact and Learning team are constantly gathering information to deepen our knowledge of the communities we serve and to ensure the impact and effectiveness of the services we fund to reduce inequality in London.
We collect data and carry out research to ensure that our funding is:
responsive to the changing needs of London
up-to-date with the best approaches to tackling London’s needs
By building our knowledge of London’s needs we can make evidence-based decisions that support communities.
By sharing what we learn, we can raise awareness of good practices within the sector, support organisations with evidence and data and catalyse wider change across the funding ecosystem.
Working with our funded organisations
Gathering feedback from each organisation we fund is probably the single most powerful learning tool we have as an organisation: giving us information and insight on how we need to continuously improve how we work and what we fund and to keep up-to-date with innovation and challenges.
Our dedicated Impact and Learning team collects data from grant holders throughout the year and shares this learning with the wider organisation.
Network and Learning Day
Diversity, equity and inclusion
We work closely with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) working group to ensure we are considering and prioritising key issues. This includes regularly analysing our DEI data to ensure we are using our money wisely to actively reduce inequalities and grow stronger communities across London.
We have put a number of processes in place to ensure we collect data from funded organisations in a fair and inclusive way: such as offering to gather impact data over the phone for organisations that might struggle with paperwork or internet access.
We are always trying to reduce the power imbalance between funder and funded organisations and train colleagues and Committee Members in this. For example, we have a programme of learning visits during which we meet funded organisations as equals and support them to reflect on their experiences and share learning with us.
Our current DEI projects:
At City Bridge Foundation, we have been working hard to put our ambitious diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) plans into action, following a renewed organisational commitment to DEI in early 2022.
As we work towards equitable funding in London, alongside other partners in the sector, we need to have better insights into where we could improve our reach or impact. One way to do that is to analyse and make sense of our data – collectively if possible.
Back in February 2021 we laid out our plans to join a voluntary group of funders implementing the DEI Data Standard, as well as to recode all our historical grants with more substantive and robust data. This is so we could more easily understand what our outcomes and impact is expected to be across our programmes of work. This was a priority area for us and it very much chimes with our organisational values.
The DEI Data Standard (the Standard) is a collaboration between a range of organisations within the London Funders collective to agree and implement a common approach to DEI data capture on funding applications. The Standard is already live on several funders’ websites, including BBC Children in Need.
As part of the Funders Alliance on Race Equality we are undertaking a Race Equality Audit, which is a statistically significant sample review of our grants and will give us a snapshot of how our funding reaches Black Asian and Minority Ethnic-led groups and contributes towards race equality outcomes.
Research, reporting and data
Commissioned by City Bridge Foundation, The Work Foundation (a leading think-tank dedicated to improving work in the UK), launched and developed an independent report, ‘The changing workplace: enabling disability inclusive hybrid working’.
This is the first piece of independent, substantive research we have commissioned, and it couldn’t be more timely or topical. Our funding strategy, Bridging Divides, aims to create a more equitable London, and Deaf and disabled communities have been at the heart of our work for many years.
This new study explored disabled workers’ experiences of remote and hybrid working, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, through a survey of 406 disabled people, interviews with 20 disabled workers, and two roundtables with employers and other stakeholders.
This research also draws attention to the challenges some disabled workers have experienced, ranging from difficulties securing essential adjustments to outdated attitudes from managers about flexible work, and touches on concerns about how working remotely may impact relationships with colleagues and career progression:
The report concludes with practical steps for employers to take to ensure their approach to hybrid and remote working is inclusive of disabled employees; and recommendations to the Government for policy changes that will be needed to tackle the disability employment gap.
We are in the final year of a 5 year partnership with an external impact and learning expert, Renaisi, who are helping us to grow and embed a positive learning culture across the organisation. Renaisi’s role is to work as ‘a critical friend’: measuring our progress, building evidence of what works in terms of achieving learning and identifying impact. They also talk to our funded organisations and other external stakeholders to get a wider sense of the difference we are making in London.
We publish all our data through 360Giving. By putting this data in the public domain, it can be used by funders, charities and researchers to improve charitable giving. It also helps us put our work into the wider context of giving in London and the UK to understand what we could be doing as an organisation to help specific sectors, communities or boroughs.
Asking for your feedback on our work
As well as collecting information about our funded organisations’ activities, we actively seek feedback from them on the quality and effectiveness of our funding offer, interactions and processes so we can continually improve.