Helping you understand, measure
and communicate your Social Impact
You only get one chance to tell your story so make the most of it.

Associate interview: Fergal O'Donnell

Fergal O'Donnell is a Director at Insight Solutions and has been an associate with Gauge NI since 2016. In the 2 years he has been working with us he has completed a number of evaluations for clients both independently and as part of a team, including the Consumer Council, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and RNIB.
He took part in the last 2 day Social Return on Investment course we ran and ahead of May's training we asked him to tell us about his experience. 
What made you decide to do the SROI training course?
"It was one of the first pieces of training I undertook after deciding to do some freelance consultancy work. I was aware that there was an increasing focus on measuring social value across all sectors.  Although I had seen the 'end result' of SROI in the form of a monetary ratio, I really wanted to understand how that figure was arrived at. Being extremely busy and more conscious of the use of my own time, I was also attracted to the two day course format."
How did you find the course? Did it meet your expectations?
"The course was challenging and maybe raised as many questions as it did provide answers. Getting my head around the theory, principles and approach underpinning SROI took a little time.  However, the training was also practical and using some actual real life examples to apply SROI helped me understand the SROI process. The training was pitched appropriately and whilst it was intense, there was good interaction between course participants over the two days."
How have you used what your learned on the training course in your work?
"Thankfully I have and that has been important. Being able to apply the learning quickly after the training was advantageous. It took me a long time to work through the process at first but that understanding and applications has improved greatly with more experience. The principles and stages of SROI are also very applicable to 'standard' evaluations and I feel I have developed a stronger approach to all evaluation work as a result. I have enjoyed working across a number of Gauge evaluations and particularly having the opportunity to work alongside other associates."
Who would you recommend the course to?
"I don't feel you necessarily need to be in the mindset of having to complete SROI on a regular basis.  The theory of SROI reinforces the importance of impact measurement which is so important for individuals and organisations.  It also highlights important issues like engaging stakeholders and generating appropriate and relevant evidence to support the achievement of outcomes.  Measuring and disseminating social value is becoming an increasing area of interest across a range of sectors.  So I feel this course is broad enough to attract anyone with a keen interest in the area of social value and impact measurement."
Gauge NI are holding a 2 day Social Return on Investment training course on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th May. The training will be delivered by Tim Goodspeed from Social Value UK and is designed as the first step for individuals considering doing a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis. If you truly want to understand and demonstrate the value your work makes on the stakeholders that matter – the community around you – then this course is an essential starting point.
There are a limited number of early bird places available for £600 (+ VAT) if booked before Monday 9th April; the rate after this date is £695 (+ VAT). The price includes training costs, materials, certification and first year membership of Social Value UK plus lunch and refreshments on both days. The training will take place at Groundwork NI, 63-75 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GB which has free on street parking nearby.
Read the full details of the course here. For enquiries and bookings contact Christine on 02890 436400 or email
Call us: 028 9043 6400
Gauge NI: 15-17 Grosvenor Road, Belfast, BT12 4GN