We are closing

There is a bittersweet air in the office today as I write that Community Evaluation NI is ceasing to exist as a going concern; in short, we’re shutting up shop.  We have reserves, and a committed staff team; we have a great reputation and a sterling history – so why I hear you ask make this move?

 

Our team prides itself on strong strategic thinking; horizon scanning, deep reflection and future planning have helped us steer a successful course for over a quarter of a century.  Our work has helped charities big and small evaluate their successes, measure their impact and articulate their unique contribution to society.  And peering into that horizon, we see big changes for N. Irish charities.  Brexit has brought uncertainty; with wages stagnating where jobs are saved, people have less to give.  Charities are reluctant to invest hard earned reserves when free tools can get them part way there and our training gets them across the line. Increased competition for funding, tenders, and business is driving down the market cost for consultants, while overheads rise. 

 

There is good news though.  From 1992, CENI has worked with hundreds of charities as well as public sector departments to better align public policy and social need.  We’ve created an archive of meaningful resources, freely available online, to help charities self-evaluate and improve their impact practice.  We’ve managed UK wide partnerships and NI wide training programmes.  We’ve led on multi-million bids to enhance governance infrastructure in N. Ireland, and proudly helped charities leverage additional investment against community identified needs.

 

Grassroots movements are revitalising the sector.  We’ve taken hope from projects such as Participation and Practice of Human Rights; their campaign to challenge homelessness in N. Ireland is ambitious but achievable.  The work of ACSONI in promoting diversity; of thrive in growing audiences and of CDHN in tackling health inequalities, utilises cutting edge theories of impact practice. And to have been part of that, is one of our greatest success stories.