“The work of Tomorrow’s People is vitally important.  At an individual level, it helps young people realise their potential and avoid becoming ever-more-distant from the labour market.  At a societal level, it helps to break the vicious cycle between high unemployment and high levels of crime and poor health.  And at an economic level, it delivers tangible economic benefits, as demonstrated in the report.” Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England.

The Governor’s words appear in the Foreword of a recently published impact analysis of Tomorrow’s People performance undertaken by a team of volunteer economists from the Bank of England. The report, facilitated by Pro Bono Economics, demonstrates how Tomorrow’s People employment programmes deliver outstanding social return on investment.

This latest report continues a long tradition of the charity opening itself up to independent scrutiny and builds on earlier performance reviews delivered in 2005 by Oxford Economics and in 2011 by FTI Consulting. In the wake of the high profile ‘failures’ that the sector has faced in the last couple of years, charities which are willing to put their performance under the microscope and publish the results, will gain leverage with funders and partners.

In our latest review, the Bank of England economists looked at the performance of our youth employment programmes between 2007-2014. The data showed that the UK economy benefited by £380 for every £100 we invested in young people, a figure that increases to £415 in the last two years of the survey. With this data we are able to show funders that our work with young people has a major, positive impact on individuals, society and the economy, both through recession and during periods of growth.

The analysis also identified that our work has delivered £63m worth of value to society over the seven years covered, with savings of £22m in benefits and £25m in health and crime spend, and increased tax receipts of £16m.

The Charity Commission’s 2016 Trust and Confidence Survey shows that public trust in charities is decreasing.  The willingness of the sector to open up to scrutiny and prove the value of its work in a way that is meaningful and verifiable will be an important part of building confidence and showing the maturity of the sector.

The words of Mark Carney carry huge weight with our funders and partners.  When the Governor of the Bank of England says “The work of Tomorrow’s People is so valuable to young people and to wider society, and I am delighted that Bank of England economists have given their personal time and expertise to help demonstrate the effectiveness of this impressive charity” that gives the charity huge leverage when speaking about the value and effectiveness of our work.  More third sector organisations should be willing to open themselves up more often to close, independent scrutiny.

Abi Levitt, Director of Development Services at employment charity Tomorrow’s People