London on 1 December saw the long-awaited launch of SIAA, the Social Impact Analysis Association. Two and a half years ago, in May 2009, the idea of an association of non-profit analysts was first mooted at a conference on ‘Valuing impact’. ‘My name is Martin Brookes and I’m a non-profit analyst,’ said Martin Brookes, then CEO of New Philanthropy Capital (NPC). ‘Not many people can say that and not many would understand it.’
The idea of SIAA came partly through reflection on the differences between the for-profit and non-profit spheres. Economists, risk experts and analysts in the for-profit world have qualifications and a right to speak about their subjects and be listened to. But there is no similar professional standard for analysis in the non-profit sphere. In December 2011, Andreas Rickert of Phineo, the German equivalent of NPC, was able to say, ‘I don’t feel alone any more.’ And there is no need for him to: SIAA now has around 110 members.