A model that helps funders and social organisations collaborate to support, deliver and measure progress through every stage of the development process

A collaboration between funders

Progressively has been developed by social design charity Shift, as part of a project run in partnership with a group of UK funders and social organisations: Nominet Trust, Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief,  Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology.

This project set out to explore ways to make the landscape of funding better for social tech products and services and, after over 100 conversations with charities, social enterprises, accelerators, incubators, Trusts, Foundations and impact investors, a series of insights and recommendations were developed.

Insights and recommendations report

There are two copies of the report to view.

Driving Continuous improvement: Insights from funding social tech
This is a pdf to download and view.

Driving Continuous improvement: Insights from funding social tech – Commentable version.
This is a google doc which allows comments. Please share any thoughts, comments or experiences you have as will help further the conversation the sector is having around this topic. Please write your name and organisation in any comments you leave.

A response to research insights

The Progressively model responded to the main conclusion from the project.The process of moving things forward – learning and improving social programmes, optimising and deepening the impact of services, pushing products through multiple cycles of design and development – is currently far too difficult for charities, social enterprises and other social organisations. The culture and capacity of the social sector, and the priorities of most of the capital that sustains it, is almost entirely focused on short-term targets. The idea that the products, services and programmes used for this delivery are all on a longer-term journey towards deeper impact and greater sustainability, is mostly lost beneath the demands of existing and delivering.

These issues particularly affect products, services and programmes with significant design and development needs, such as social tech projects, although this model has been developed for wider use.

Helping funders and social organisations work together

Progressively aims to help social organisations work with funders, as well as other key partners, such as commissioners and impact investors, to make progress towards long-term development goals a priority – to plan them, resource them, invest in them, track them and value them.

In beta

Its an early beta site, which has emerged from the needs of Shift’s product teams and the many other social organisations and funders interviewed during the research. It draws on existing best practice in the social and commercial sectors and has been through multiple rapid design cycles, involving of co-design with target users, live testing and about 15 major iterations.