Benchmarking Study FAQs
Click on a question to reveal the answer.
Click on a question to reveal the answer.
Benchmarking is the process of comparing your organisation’s key metrics to others in the sector and your peer group. We run benchmarking studies on HR and Workforce (People Count), the volunteer function (Volunteers Count), and pay and benefits packages for front-line staff in Social Care (Social Care Reward).
Benchmarking key metrics of your organisation provides early warning signs of potential issues and gives reassurance for what is already working well.
The hard evidence helps determine priorities for action and supports change, which enhances your ability to report back to management and trustees.
You can also gain new insights on good practice, and our benchmarking studies are an excellent networking opportunity.
Over 150 organisations of different sizes and sub-sectors have been involved in our various benchmarking studies, so there is already a wide range on our database for you to choose from when selecting your peer organisations.
Participants join from not-for-profit organisations in the Third Sector, Social Care, and UK-based INGOs.
You can still take part in the latest study as an ‘out-of-cycle’ participant. Your results will not be included in the whole sample but you are able to benchmark your results against your chosen peers and the whole sample.
Certainly. Many organisations find it helpful to take part as it is a good way of identifying gaps in their data collection. The only mandatory fields in the questionnaire are the basic ones about your organisation’s size and location. Even if you have not put in all of the data, you will still receive the results in the report about your peers and the whole sample. The average response rate is 70-80%.
Yes. We will set up a lead user to the online system and from there you are able to assign other users from your organisation. This is helpful as a person’s name appears beside any data they have entered which helps you to keep an eye on progress.
The time taken to complete the questionnaire will vary from organisation to organisation and will depend on how easy it is to acquire the information from your own internal systems. For most participants 3.5 person days of effort are required.
We provide detailed guidance notes for each question. We ask that all participants pay close attention to these notes whilst completing the questionnaire to ensure consistency.
As part of participating in the study, you agree for your data to be used in sector-wide reports but no data will be attributed to your organisation. We do not share an individual organisation’s data with anybody.
Yes, you can update your data submission as many times as you like throughout the year, and re-run your Volume One Report.
We ask you to choose your peers carefully. It is possible to amend your choice, though it must be done by us, and you must select at least three, to preserve confidentiality.
Many organisations choose to take part in benchmarking studies annually as part of their annual work cycle. Others leave it a year before participating again.
For any questions about the study, signing up to take part, or selecting peers, please contact Samantha Thornley.
You can choose between up to 20 organisations to benchmark against. You can choose peers based on size or sub-sector, or a mixture of the two.
All measures in the Volume 1 report are split by size and sub-sector as well, so you get a really clear picture of your scores compared with others’.
The questionnaire for each study has been shaped by a steering group of professionals from the sector. Each time we run a study, we invite the steering groups to meet over a telephone conference and we run through any proposed changes or additions. If you would like to participate in the steering group for any of our benchmarking studies or would like to contribute any feedback, please get in touch with Caroline Oates.
Good practice questions are an opportunity for you to share with other organisations what is working well for your organisation, and learn from others. These questions are not mandatory, so there is no obligation to complete them. The responses will be attributed to your organisation for other participants only. Only those taking part in the study will be able to see which organisation has said what. There is also the opportunity to get in touch with an organisation to network and share good practice, as each organisation nominates one person to appear on the contact list alongside their job title and an email address.
Your reports can be accessed in the client area of our website, using the same login details as used when completing the questionnaire. Go to the dashboard and select ‘Reports and Drill Down’. The first time you do this you will need to generate a Volume One Report so click ‘Generate New V1 Report’. When this is generated you can download the report into a Microsoft Word document or view the online drill down element.
The Drill Down Report is a way for you to really engage with the results of your questionnaire and look at any measures of particular interest in greater detail.
From here you can also access and download the Volume Two Reports which are sector-wide and not specific to your organisation. This contains an executive summary of the findings.
The Volume One Reports are specific to your organisation and compare your scores for each measure to your peer scores and the whole sample. It also indicates where you are comparable, different, or significantly different by colour coding results. You can also see the percent rank and any previous scores:
The Volume Two Reports include the results for the whole sample and paint a picture of the sector as a whole. They include data broken down by organisation size and sub-sector, alongside an executive summary.