Research Outline

Social/Community Impact Benchmarks


To identify good benchmarks or impact metrics, specifically within the social impact/community engagement sector if available, in order to create a "Community Thriving Index" for a large retail company to measure whether the communities around their stores are thriving.

Early Findings

  • In 2019, the UK's National Lottery Community Fund in collaboration with the What Works Centre for Well-being and Happy City commissioned a report on "Understanding Thriving Communities" that "reviewed the evidence on the relationship between different conditions, factors or interventions that can have an impact on the extent to which a community can thrive.
  • The report identified three main outcome themes (shown below) that are evidence of whether a community is thriving. Each of these themes have been given associated outcomes and indicators that can be used for measurement data. For ease of reference, a spreadsheet table of the overall theme, outcomes and indicators has been developed for your convenience based directly on the report's findings.
    • Improving individual well being - how we are doing as individuals, commonly measured by subjective well being questions, including life satisfaction, happiness, worthwhile and anxiety
    • Strengthening relationships and connections - people and communities connect with, understand and support one another
    • Putting people in the lead - political efficacy, volunteering, civic engagement
    • Others - physical spaces and individual, local and macro level factors that may further influence well being
  • Other groups and frameworks for measuring the extent to which communities are thriving that we found include the Thriving Places Index, the Thriving Places Group and a template for Community Well-Being as published in the International Journal of Community Well-Being.