Customer feedback and evaluation of public learning sessions

Our customers are best placed to explain how our learning contributes to their own professional development and their impact within their organisations.

The comments below have been gathered from previous participants through evaluations and case studies. If you’d like more information about our current programme and how it applies to your specific role, please get in touch.

Feedback about Money Matters learning

Evaluation of Basic Bid Writing

  • ‘I was impressed by the online training! I’m a complete beginner in bid writing, but this reinforced my decision to expand my role to include fundraising. It was useful to consider how a funder thinks, and how they want to receive information. I can’t think of any real improvements that the course needs.’ Freya Jeffries, Carers Support Centre
  • ‘I’d never been part of a Zoom conversation before this training, but it was really well organised and structured. I enjoyed learning from the trainer and doing group work with other participants. I will now see my organisation as a partner to the organisations I’m applying to, whereas I used to see them as doing us a “favour” when they award us funding.’ Adiad Yasin, Autism Independence
  • ‘Thanks to this course, I’m going to do much better research and preparation before submitting grant proposals. I also want to look at our timelines, as we always seem to be doing things at the last minute.’ Petra Littlefair, Czech and Slovak Community School Bristol CIC

Advanced Bid Writing and Tendering

  • ‘During the course, I found the discussions very useful – I learned about other people’s experience of bid writing and tendering. In the future I’m going to refocus large bids on research and data, moving away from an emotional approach.’
  • ‘I don’t think the session could have been any better. It was helpful to look at a case study, and I can now increase my focus on collecting data for future bids.’
  • ‘It helped to meet other organisations and share our mutual work ethic. I also found it useful to share strengths and weaknesses.’
  • ‘Because of this course, we’re going to have a more defined fundraising strategy. I learned a lot about from other attendees in the data section of the course – there were things I’d never even thought of.’

Applying for Core Funding

  • ‘It was all useful; now I feel I can write a bid for core funding.’
  • ‘Because of the course, we can possibly develop a Theory of Change. I’m going to look for more funding sources, too.’
  • ‘Now we know how to focus our core funding applications, we can write more of them. The case studies were very useful, as we could see concrete examples of good applications.’
  • ‘This was a really succinct course, with so much information I didn’t know before. We can now be proactive about gathering data and doing evaluations.’

Feedback about Leading Your Organisation learning

  • ‘We’re going to ensure our policies support a culture that makes change possible – for example, investing in learning and development. It really helped to learn about the behaviours of an inspiring leader during the course, and to be told that there will be a dip in productivity during change. I really enjoyed the course.’
  • ‘I found the group empowering. I feel really positive now – I’m going to be people-focused but I’m prepared to challenge them too.’

Inspiring Change

  • ‘I now know to think about why people can find change difficult, and how important it is for them to feel they have some control over change.’
  • ‘The action learning sets were the most useful part of the course for me. I now have the confidence to think about strategy as well as operational management.’
  • ‘Seeing the models of change really helped me. I’m going to think very seriously about risk, and how to minimise it with staff, trustees, volunteers and clients.’
  • ‘We had a useful discussion with other people on the course, prompted by a diagram.’
  • ‘Because of the course, I’m going to revisit planning and communication with my area leads. Thank you for the opportunity to share and question the challenge facing our service.’

Leading Change

  • ‘This course has taught me to reset my intentions. It also supported some of the habits I had already been doing, which was good.’ Rachel Jones, Windmil Hill City Farm
  • ‘The breakout rooms were a great feature of the course.’
  • ‘I feel encouraged to make a concrete plan of how to integrate wellbeing in daily life. I found it useful that we could share our thoughts and experiences during the course.’ Anna Claire George, Manor Farm Community Group
  • ‘The sessions were friendly and chatty – not just the breakout rooms, but all the discussions.’ Kate Watson, Centre for Sustainable Energy
  • ‘I’m going to look after my wellbeing because of this course, and encourage others to do the same. The whole course was useful, and it helped to learn about everyone’s coping strategies in these unique times.’ Julia East, Baby Bank Network
  • ‘I’m now going to take care of myself and my staff through regular discussions and interaction.’ Saiqa Khan, Khaas
  • ‘I’m going to think about my own wellbeing, and also use what I’ve learned to support people I work with. I thought that setting personal targets was a good way to focus on yourself – this was the most useful part.’ Helen Stone, North Bristol Advice Centre

Five Ways to Wellbeing

Voice and influence

Feedback about Voice and influence learning

Evaluation of Marketing and Campaigns

  • ‘I’m going to use more software for design materials, and give more time to planning our marketing campaigns. It really helped to share ideas with people in the same situation.’
  • ‘It helped to learn about the free resources that are available. I also enjoyed hearing what other people have been doing.’
  • ‘Everything covered on the course was useful!’
  • ‘In the future, I’ll use the campaign planning template for new marketing campaigns. I’ll definitely set aside time for research and planning. The interactive sessions are so good for bouncing ideas off each other and learn from people in similar organisations.’
  • ‘I now know that we need to make a long-term marketing and communications plan. All the tips and handy hints in the course were useful.’

Feedback about Making an Impact learning

Making an Impact
  • ‘It was so useful to go through the Theory of Change. I’m now going to look at this in my organisation and look at the impact that volunteering has on the volunteers themselves.’
  • ‘We’ll now be able to start measuring impact, and think about how we can communicate what we find with stakeholders.’
  • ‘I’m now going to keep in closer contact with staff across the whole team, to help build a positive culture of volunteering.’
  • ‘We now know it’s important to consider the social impact of our volunteering projects. Doing the course has also made me more confident about the volunteering approach we have taken.’
  • ‘Discussions with the group were excellent for providing insight into how others have done things, and for steering our thinking.’
  • ‘I learned to think about the end result first, and to work backwards from that, particularly when it comes to a Theory of Change.’
  • ‘The Theory of Change was an excellent activity – we were able to talk to our peers and reflect on what works or needs to be changed.’
  • ‘I now realise we need to focus on communicating with the community, and diversifying. We’re also going to work on empowering the core team to help with decision-making.’
  • ‘The scenario planning exercise was brilliant, with all the prompts and areas to think about. I also enjoyed small group work and having the space to support each other.’

Measuring the Impact of Volunteering

  • ‘The entire course was useful. I’d happily make a whole day of it!’
  • ‘There was a good mix of other people’s experience and guidance.’
  • ‘The best bit was how not to lose volunteers.’
  • ‘There was so much knowledge in the room – I really enjoyed all the discussions.’
  • ‘We now need to do more targeted recruitment.’
  • ‘I will talk to my colleagues about how they can support and celebrate their existing volunteers.’

Recruit and Retain Volunteers

  • ‘I learned how to gather evidence, and what makes good, credible evidence.’
  • ‘Thanks to the course, I’m going to write a shortlist of really relevant funders. I’ll also explain better to our workers on the frontline why we need evidence and how we use the data.’
  • ‘The group discussions were helpful, and I also found it useful to learn about the best ways to target research online.’
  • ‘I now know we need to be more mindful of the data we’re collecting for future fundraising bids when we formulate surveys.’
  • ‘Because of this course, I now feel more able to research data efficiently, and do more research on funding.’

Evidencing Need

Planning for the Future

Feedback about Planning for the Future learning

Improving your Theory of Change

  • ‘The models, the visuals and the working groups were all very useful. My plan for the future is to bring the staff and trustee board together to talk about developing our Theory of Change.’
  • ‘It was great to discuss the Theory of Change with the wider group. I now want to work on it in collaboration with other people.’
  • ‘The part where we tested our Theory of Change was the most useful. This should give me something more solid to work on for funding applications.’
  • ‘Everything on the course was helpful. I now realise we need to discuss our Theory of Change with our steering group, make it more robust, and consider the environmental impact of what we do.’
  • ‘Because of the course, we’re going to reformat our Theory of Change.’

Setting up as a Community Interest Company (CIC)

  • ‘It was all so useful. Having taken the course, we can now consider if our not-for-profit position needs opening up to become a CIC.’
  • ‘The course gave a clear overview; we can now go ahead and start the CIC process.’
  • ‘Because of this course, I now want to do business planning differently.’
  • ‘I now know I’ve made the right decision about the size of my CIC.’
  • ‘It helped to look at the breakdown of different structures and types of CIC, and to learn about defining our objects and activities.’
  • ‘I didn’t know much about CICs before taking this course, but every part of the session was helpful.’
  • ‘The whole session was interesting, and the legal documentation was very useful.’
  • ‘It really helped to network with other similar groups and understand the way they work.’
  • ‘Everything was helpful and clear; I now have all the information I need to start the process of setting up a CIC. It would have been nice to meet in person, but that’s not possible at the moment! It was good to meet people from other organisations online and hear about what they are doing.’
  • ‘We’re going to recruit more directors, and we will now be able to file our accounts with confidence.’
  • ‘It was so useful that we could ask questions directly to the trainer, and get practical answers about CIC forms and criteria.’
  • ‘The group size was great. All of the content was very useful.’
  • ‘This has made the idea of setting up a CIC much more obtainable, and I understand a lot more about the process.’