Top 5 tips on using Upshot to report to Funders

We know that what funders expect in terms of reporting can vary: some set very clear targets that they want grant recipients to meet, whilst others are more interested in seeing progress towards a broader list of outcomes. 

Whatever your reporting needs, here are five hot tips on how to get the most out of Upshot’s reporting tools, to easily and quickly get the right information at the right time. 

1. What’s the Upshot?

The most important thing is to be clear about what evidence your funder expects from you and in what format. Are they interested in numbers, such as participation and attendance? If so, have they set you specific targets in a clear timeframe? Or would they like softer evidence that tells a story, such as case studies, survey results or media? When and how often do you have to provide reports? What are the agreed outcomes you are working towards?

If these questions haven’t been clearly answered in your funding agreement, don’t be afraid to ask them so you can set out a clear reporting strategy.


2. It’s a numbers game – Performance Indicators

The most basic demonstration of the success of a project is to show the volume of your delivery and the level of participation. Measured Indicators in each project allow the system to track these types of metrics for you. Just choose the type of indicator, break it down further by the demographics you care about (such as age, gender, or ethnicity) and tell the system what activities to count from. Every time you log in you will be able to see a colour-coded progress bar that lets you clearly identify whether you are meeting your targets or falling behind. 


3. Who’s who – Demographics

It’s imperative to analyse who has participated in your activity, identify trends and learn how to tailor future delivery to even better engage your target audience. Upshot allows you to record detailed information about each attendee from your registration form. 

Some of these fields are coded to plug into national databases:

In the UK, the postcode fields are linked to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) databases to identify the local authority, ward and constituency that postcode falls into. It also highlights the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) of that area, so you can draw conclusions about the socio-economic background of your participants. You can even view your attendees plotted on a live map of the UK using the Map report and use overlays such as population size and the IMD. 

The School/College/University field looks up UK educational establishments listed on EduBase, the Department for Education’s official register. This saves you time typing in the correct name of the educational institutions your participants attend. 

The Date of Birth field is coded to automatically calculate the current age of your attendees, allowing you to have confidence in the age perimeters you set for your different reports.

Once you have collected lots of information about your participants, the People report applies filters to your database to help you segment it. 


4. Real story-telling – surveys, media files, case studies and evidenced indicators

While lots of people may have attended your sessions, how do we know if you had any lasting impact on their lives? Here are some common examples of how Upshot can help you collect that information too:

Observation forms, feedback, questionnaires… The survey tool helps you design questions, collect the responses manually or by email, track completion rates and, finally, examine and compare the results. 

Media files
You can upload your photos from your phone, your written report from your laptop or link to the YouTube video you created and store them all in the cloud of your Media library. This means your colleagues can see and download those files for their use, wherever they are. 

Case studies
More and more funders want to see the journey a beneficiary of their funding has undergone. How has their life changed? What milestones were achieved? Upshot collects lots of information about individual participants and allows you to download it all into an attendee report. 

Read here for more tips on getting the most out of your case studies.

Evidenced indicators
These work a bit like a to do list. Tell the system what tasks you need to complete, like uploading a certain number of media items, writing a report or sending out a survey, and the system will reflect how many you have achieved by a set deadline. 


5. Be transparent & Embrace Failure

Across the Third Sector we spend a lot of time demonstrating the fantastic impact we have made. We never talk about the things that went wrong. The things we tried that didn’t work. The risks we took that didn’t pan out.  And, more importantly, what we learnt from it.

Using Upshot enables you not just to focus on the successes for your funder, but also be open and transparent around what did not go well. Be open to a conversation around improvement and learning