Independent Evaluation

 Spirit of 2012

The Client

Spirit of 2012 Trust are the London Olympic 2012 legacy funder. They build sustainable social legacies from the inspiration of events, investing to improve how people feel about themselves, other people and their community. 


The Challenge

Spirit of 2012 was established by the Big Lottery Fund to leave a lasting legacy for communities across the UK from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These broad objectives made it really important for Spirit of 2012 to get an early understanding of the impact their funding could make, to map out the changes they wanted to see in communities around the UK, and to establish what type of funder they should be as early as possible.

The Project

To undertake a three-year independent evaluation of the Spirit fund across the UK. Central to this project was having a Theory of Change to inform the programme strategy and a consistent monitoring & evaluation framework to drive the internal monitoring of quantitative and qualitative data. It was also important that grantees were not over-burdened, capturing the ‘human interest’ stories of change, and doing this in a way that involved stakeholders was a priority.

In year 1, inFocus worked with Spirit to develop a theory of change, involving a broad range of stakeholders, both potential grantees and sector experts, mapping out how an inspirational event, like the London 2012 Games, could continue to: inspire people, to challenge their thinking around disability and civil and national pride, to increase in participation in sport, the arts and culture and volunteer and how this could translate into to long-term changes in communities. Once the Theory of Change was agreed and outcomes prioritized, the next step was to develop and agree a set of indicators and tools that could be used by grantees to help to identify to what extent the changes took place. We developed a range of data collection and reporting tools for Spirit of 2012 grantees to submit data against the indicators enabling Spirit of 2012 to consolidate and view reports across all programmes and grantees.

Following this initial inception phase of the charity, inFocus turned its’ role towards that of Independent Evaluator. By working with our team of Associates across the UK we carried out a combined three year process, formative and summative evaluation to help Spirit to use data for both its’ own learning and external accountability. The evaluation continued to use the theory of change as a guiding framework, which was revised and updated annually.