By Cláudia Pedra, managing partner of Stone Soup Consulting.

Stone Soup was asked to share a story of interdependence at the B Corp Europe Summer Summit (20-22 June 2017), which we have attended as a certified B Corp. As some of you may know, every company that joins the B Corp movement signs a Declaration of Interdependence. When I reached Cascais, the Declaration was on the table, standing out in its simplicity but also meaning. It certainly inspired my talk.

The story we chose to share was nothing more than a story of how to create a new concept of community and how it is tangled with the story of Stone Soup Consulting. It all started eight years ago, when five people came together to create a company that could be a force for good. When we reflected on our Theory of Change and decided that Stone Soup would help organisations and social entrepreneurs increase their positive social impact through strategic consultancy, we also reflected on the concept of community. We had this crazy idea, that this community could have the founding partners, consultants, clients, commercial partners, but also competitors that sometimes could be partners. We scheduled several presentations to those competitors and spoke of the concept. Although they smiled politely, the majority looked at us as if what we were proposing was too strange even to consider.

About four years after these early presentations, we were challenged by two major foundations in Portugal to collaborate on the creation of a platform that would help social entrepreneurs and organisations to reach long term sustainability. The only condition for this collaboration was that the concept and operation would have to be done by four organisations (two companies and two NGOs - ourselves, Call to Action, IES and TESE). It was a strong opportunity to implement our original idea of community and finally work on an interdependent model with our competitors/partners. One year after the kick off in Portugal, GEOfundos is a success and on a weekly basis this consortium of four partners meets and works together as a team.

The Grantee Experience and Insight Review, or GEIR, is a unique global enterprise dedicated to bolstering the impact and success of foundations around the world.  The GEIR is grounded upon the conviction that foundation effectiveness is greatly bolstered by relationships of openness, trust, and mutual accountability on the part of foundations and their grantees.

The GEIR helps to enable such relationships by allowing grantees to provide confidential feedback on their financial supporters.

Ø  Through a PRACTICE component, grantees provide candid feedback on how they experience the grantmaking process, including proposal and reporting requirements, communications, and more.

Ø  Through a VALUES component, grantees shine a spotlight on a grantmaker’s values, checking them against their own experience.

The GEIR’s data-gathering methodology—unique in the domain of grantee feedback evaluation protocols—is one-on-one interviews conducted by experienced professionals with strong cultural competency within local contexts. This distinctive approach allows grantees to share their stories, experiences and insights in a way that on-line surveying simply don’t allow.

On its own or as part of a broader evaluation program, the GEIR delivers evidence-based, actionable insights to improve foundation practice and boost effectiveness and impact.

You can find more information on our webinar "The GEIR Evaluation Protocol"

The GEIR is managed in Portugal, Spain and France by Stone Soup Consulting. For more information on the GEIR, visit or contact Stone Soup Consulting at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Original article published in Spanish on ESADE's ESocialHub

15th March 2017. Lorena Crusellas, Programme Coordinator for the Prevenir Association, started to measure the impact of their work in 2011. At the time it was impossible to imagine the effect this was going to have on the work of this small association with nine employees and an annual budget of 160,000 euros that today works in Spain and Portugal.

Why is it important for your organisation to measure its social impact?

Our work could not be understood today if it did not include measuring, transversally, the social impact we generate. We have seen for ourselves the benefits of identifying and developing our own indicators of results and impacts in our daily work and, more specifically, in our fundraising work. Measuring our social impact has led to a new fundraising strategy which has allowed us to raise more funds of a private nature, especially in this last phase of the economic crisis.

Why did you start measuring your impact?

 It all began with the evaluation of the social impact of the project “I’ll pass…” funded in 2011 by the Fundacion EDP, the Oeiras municipality and the Sumol+Compal company. Impact measurement was one of the requirements to get funding for this project whose objective was to promote a healthy lifestyle among 1200 youngsters from 11 to 15yrs. old.

What has been the main benefit obtained by measuring your social impact?

The main benefit can probably be found in the change in our language. We have gone from the original, more conceptual and, up to a certain point, vague discourse to speaking about our work in a clear and structured way. Now all the members of the team are capable of defining simple, concrete indicators and adjusting them to other programmes with similar impact maps. For example: before, our reports spoke of improving health by encouraging a balanced diet amongst the youngsters but lacked data that really showed a behavioural change in them. Now, thanks to the impact indicators, we can pick up on that behavioural change in a concrete way.

How has impact measurement influenced your fundraising?

There have been various benefits in the fundraising field. Perhaps the most important has been working with an external consultancy which has helped us build the models necessary for measuring the social impact of our programmes. That has provided us, I would say, with a hallmark of quality which has given us the strength and confidence to change our image on the one hand and our way of approaching our meetings with possible donors on the other. Since 2011 we can speak with propriety about the results obtained when we meet with new funders such as the Obra Social de la Caixa or the Spanish health authorities. It is a hallmark which provides an internationally recognised methodology of impact measurement and introduces us to a language more common to other funders with whom we were not previously familiar.

Stone Soup Consulting divulga este programa a todas as organizações da economia social, por considerarmos que a capacitação é crucial para o fortalecimento institucional e por ser uma oportunidade de fazê-lo de forma financiada.
Até ao dia 19 de junho de 2017 estão abertas as candidaturas ao Programa de Capacitação para o Investimento Social (CIS) do Programa Portugal Inovação Social.
O programa está aberto para Entidades da Economia Social da região Norte, Centro e Alentejo.
O programa tem um processo, que deve ser iniciado o mais depressa possível, porque exige a realização do diagnóstico antes da entrega da candidatura. Conte com, pelo menos, 2 meses para fazer o processo de candidatura.
Terá também de contratar 2 ou mais prestadores de serviços externos, um para efetuar o diagnóstico e outro(s) para realizar as intervenções de capacitação. Não pode ser o mesmo prestador de serviço a realizar ambos.
O valor total do Programa é de 3 milhões de euros, podendo haver candidaturas de 50.000€, sendo que o diagnóstico só poderá ser no máximo de 5.000€. Aos 50.000€ será subtraído o valor do diagnóstico. O prazo de intervenção máximo é 18 meses. 

The space between a grantmaker and its grantees

Speaker: John Harvey, GEIR

Moderator: Cláudia Pedra, Stone Soup Consulting

When: October 27th at 2.30pm (GMT)


The GEIR, Grantee Experience and Insight Review, is an innovative evaluation protocol that provides grantees with the exceptional opportunity to confidentially and safely provide honest feedback on their funders. John Harvey, GEIR Founding Principal, will present this new methodology aiming at generating honest and succesful relationships between grantmakers and grantees. 

How is the GEIR different from other grantee feedback evaluations currently in the market? “It gives grantees a voice on issues they are normally silent on, it’s a critical stepping stone to enabling relationships of openness, trust and mutuality,” John Harvey. Aimed at European foundations and other stakeholders involved in evaluation programmes, the goal of this webinar is to have a better understanding of the Grantee Experience and Insight Review.

Join us for this webinar organised by Stone Soup Consulting and GEIR, under the framework of our partnership to advance GEIR.

This webinar will offer a free and open discussion and will explore the different ways that your team can deploy this innovative protocol.

Register now!