Welcome to IVAR. We are an independent charity that works closely with people and organisations striving for social change. From the very small that directly support the most vulnerable in their local communities, to those that work nationally – across the voluntary, public and funding sectors.
We use research to develop practical responses to the challenges faced and create opportunities for people to learn from our findings. This site is home to our bank of research and resources, providing insights that can help organisations adapt to change and make informed and confident decisions.
Small charities and social investment
In our latest report we take a close look at the ‘social investment journey’ of 25 small charities, providing in-depth insights into their motivation, experience of the process, challenges encountered and the support they received. Identifying what is important to small organisations and what actions can improve the journey.
find out more
Thinking about sustainability
Expectations and requirements for ‘sustainability’ can become a source of misunderstanding and difficulty. This report looks at the meanings and assumptions behind the term and what funders can do to help.
find out more
New framework: Place-based funding
Over the last 18 months we have been taking an in-depth look at how UK trusts and foundations approach funding in geographical areas. Out of this study we have developed and tested a framework that can be used to plan and implement place-based funding.
find out more
Use our research insights and resources to help strengthen your practice and formulate messages to funders.
Explore all of our research, resources and web pages – use keywords to find what interests you most.
Katherine Low settlement: Serving the community for over 90 years
In conversation with...
02 February 2017
Learning in responsive grant making – Thinking out loud
In recent months we have been looking into theory and ideas that might help us figure out just what good learning looks like.
01 January 2017
Taking a strategic learning approach to evaluation
Nick Wilsdon, Learning & Evaluation Manager at the National Foundation for Youth Music shares his experience of embedding a strategic learning approach to evaluation. He highlights the journey of change, concluding with helpful tips for anyone embarking on a similar journey.
02 December 2016
On the shoulders of giants: Charity leaders call for a ‘humble and modest’ social investment market
Leila Baker, Head of research at IVAR shares some of the points made by speakers and guests during the lively Q&A session at our recent launch event for Small charities and social investment.
19 October 2016
Community organisations push back on ‘data burden’
Through academic collaboration and partnership working, organisations push back on the burden of monitoring, evaluation and impact.
Learn more about IVAR