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What is an impact assessment?

An impact assessment is used to describe and inform stakeholders of the current state of the organisation and its products/services. It helps to develop a statement that describes the difference between what the situation was ‘before’, and the current situation.

Depending on the size and complexity of the organisation, the statement could be as simple as one paragraph or as detailed as a two- or three-page document that includes information on membership, Statewide coverage, finances and volunteer/staff structures.

The statement should reference ‘before’ in context to last season or a realistic environment/status that was planned for during the time of the impact. For example, if membership numbers were at 10,000 in 2019, the change in membership numbers should be based on that, rather than on the planned or anticipated 2020 membership numbers.

The statement should also provide appropriate information that can be shared with those who know about your organisation as well as with those who have had no previous involvement or are not familiar with what your organisation does. The statement should include management actions taken during the impact, for example: the competition was postponed after Round 1; staff worked at home from a certain date; or all payments to and from the national body were put on hold.

A summary or organisational chart of how the organisation is structured may also help deliver a clear outline of how the organisation works and what external factors affect its current status. Do not forget to include its relationship with national bodies, local governments, clubs and other stakeholders.


The impact assessment/statement needs to:

  • identify and quantify all impacts relating to the recovery environment
  • provide a common starting point for the recovery phase
  • clarify how the organisation was impacted
  • provide some common metrics and/or statistics that may be used to monitor the recovery phase.

How is the impact assessment completed?

The assessment should be based on facts and usual/reasonable growth rather than aspirational goals and should consider information that is as current and as accurate as possible. The statement is a point-in-time assessment and should not anticipate outcomes or try to predict the situation tomorrow, next week or at any time in the future.

Although the impact assessment may reference stakeholders and their actions, it should only provide details of impacts directly related to the organisation and its own situation. The assessment may contain a general summary of clubs and/or affiliated organisations/stakeholders but it is not necessary to reflect every single nuance and situation faced by each individual stakeholder.

While the current environment may not lend itself to an extensive consultation process, some quick and targeted feedback or comments may be warranted from your members and stakeholders. Therefore, the assessment may be best developed by the person (or a small team) who has the soundest overall understanding of the impacts and current situation.

The assessment should be written as a public document that may be shared with stakeholders, clubs and members.

Preparation of the impact statement

The following information is provided as a guide to help in the process of developing an impact statement. As mentioned above, depending on the size and complexity of the organisation, the statement could be as simple as one paragraph or as detailed as a two- or three- page document.

The following information needs to be included:

  1. Name of the organisation
  2. Date
  3. Who conducted the review and who endorsed it
  4. A summary of [insert organisation’s name] status before the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • membership — consider total membership numbers, regional breakdown, gender breakdown, type of member (for example, juniors, seniors etc)
    • finances — include only high-level information/a summary of the type usually contained in an annual report. There may be value in detailing some high-level information on major impacts (positive and negative) to income, for example, sponsors, funding
    • staffing/volunteers — how many staff did you have? How many key (those in leadership roles) and general volunteers ran the organisation?
    • stakeholders/clubs, etc — a general statement is enough for this section. For example: the majority of clubs are volunteer-driven with some having paid administration support. The majority of clubs have teams that play in the [insert organisation] junior and senior winter league
    • communication — include details of communication with clubs, members, sponsors, local governments, etc.
  5. Key external impacts and decision points as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:

    What were the key decisions the organisation had to make and what were these based on? For example: the season was stopped, staff were asked to work from home, our facility was closed, national championships were postponed, etc. Also include any pro-active measures, for example: a COVID-19 working group was established, clubs were not invoiced, etc.

    Provide a summary of how the organisation is making decisions relating to COVID-19 restrictions. For example, in consultation with the State sporting association, national sporting organisation, local police, reviewing State government information, etc.

  6. Impact statement — this will reflect the areas outlined above and contrast with the current status:
    • membership — membership numbers have dropped to [insert current statistics]
    • finances — note overall changes, including high-level information on major impacts (positive and negative) to income, for example membership/registrations, sponsors, funding
    • staffing/volunteers — note current staffing levels and how their work/salary is being managed. Include communication with key volunteers
    • stakeholders/clubs — provide a general statement relating to clubs. For example: the majority of clubs have stopped all operations and collection of fees pending a re-start of the winter season
    • communication — include details of communication with clubs, members, sponsors, local governments, etc.

What next?

This will depend on who has been involved in the preparation of the assessment/statement. It is important that the organisation’s board has signed off or endorsed this part as it will guide the final recovery plan and may be a useful tool when communicating with members, stakeholders and sponsors/supporters.

Once it is endorsed, you may wish to consider sending it to all key internal staff or volunteers so they can understand the full impact on the organisation.

Related pages

Page reviewed 11 September 2023