WFN’s Impact Assessment Report

To mark 25 years of grant giving in 2018, we commissioned a comprehensive assessment of WFN’s impact and that of our winners, and we’re excited to share the full results in our recently published Impact Assessment Report.

Independent questionnaires, interviews and analysis were led by Impact Consultant Brittany Sawrey, MSc and Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland, Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity at Oxford University. A quantitative survey of winner impact was conducted by WFN staff.

Charity Overview (as of 2018)

  • 197 conservation leaders supported in over 80 countries
  • Over £20 million raised
  • 91% of WFN income spent on charitable activity

The full report includes a sector review, qualitative assessment of winner success, an organisational Theory of Change, a quantitative assessment of winner impact, and winner case studies.

The Results

The results of both the independent and WFN led assessments were overwhelmingly positive. The sector review revealed that the charity is viewed as effective, fulfilling an important  niche within the conservation sector, and the quantitative assessment of winner impact provided the following highlights:

  • 69% of Whitley Award winners surveyed reported populations of target species were either stable or increasing in their project sites.
  • 50,000 species are benefitting from improved protection and management as a result of winning the Whitley Award and subsequent WFN support.
  • 91 million hectares protected and/or managed across terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitat by winners’projects.
  • 1.1 million people have received training and support as a result of winners’ work.
  • 14.3 million people reached through environmental education activities.

The qualitative assessment revealed that the professional and personal impact of winning a Whitley Award was largely in line with the Charity’s mission and objectives.

  • 94% of past Whitley Award winners surveyed felt that winning the Whitley Award increased their profile.
  • 99% of winners stated that winning the Whitley Award affected them positively on a personal level (with 89% of those surveyed ‘strongly agreeing’ with this statement)
  • 79% of winners said the Award increased access to international donors
  • 79% of winners said the Award increased access to in-country media
  • 70% of winners said the Award increased access to decision makers in the home countries
  • 68% of winners said the Award increased access to other conservationists internationally
  • 98% of winners said they had expanded their work as a result of their Whitley Award

Our retrospective Theory of Change was able to demonstrate linkages between WFN outputs and conservation outcomes. In essence, the charity is helping drive progress towards achieving its vision by enabling the expansion of effective conservation projects to deliver impact.

To view the full results, download our Impact Assessment Report.

2018 provided a fantastic opportunity to review the impact of WFN’s winners, to mark the charity’s 25th Anniversary, and to use the results to guide strategic decisions for the coming years.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the review!

Photo credits: Edwar Herreño Mision (hammerhead shark)

This blog was originally posted on the website of the Whitley Fund for Nature.

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