The Development of the New Template


At Counting What Counts, we strive to respond to the ever-changing needs of the sector in the UK. The innovation shown by arts and cultural organisations over recent months has been remarkable and it is our responsibility to develop the Toolkit accordingly.

We know how important it is for the arts and cultural sector to be able to capture information on the impact of their work and, in times like these, it is essential. We have therefore been working with National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), Arts Council England (ACE) and external peers to construct a template evaluation which Toolkit users can use to evaluate their online works.

Now, there can be ambiguity about what we are referring to when we say ‘online works’. Does this mean works that have been curated or created for an in-person experience, which are now being presented via digital means; or works that have been specifically designed/curated/created to engage with audiences in a digital capacity? The new template evaluation available to Toolkit users aims to provide insight in both instances. This template can be used either as a starting point for Toolkit users to customise their own evaluations, or used as is.

Having conducted desk-research and consulted with digital practitioners on upcoming online works, we have established a few factors that are important across most:

  • Maintaining engagement with pre-existing audiences
  • Promoting wellbeing amongst pre-existing audiences (battling loneliness and isolation)
  • Maintaining a high ‘quality’ experience
  • Fundraising via requests for donations e.g. ‘pay what you can’ or lesser ticket prices
  • Expanding reach to establish new audiences

These factors have been the largest drivers for us in determining which questions should feature in the template. The questions asked within the public survey focus on reach, the respondent’s background and their experience of the work. There is an incorporation of:

  • Selected core ACE dimension statements, with a view to providing an opportunity for comparison with previous evaluations
  • A motivation question, to give insight as to why people were drawn to an organisation’s work
  • Questions regarding the respondent’s broader experience including the online environment
  • Questions regarding future intentions, to assist programming and planning

The question schedule aims to provide Toolkit users with a solid grounding on which they can tailor the evaluation to suit their organisation and their online works. For guidance on tailoring the template to a Toolkit user’s individual requirements, a guidance file has been made available here. The template is now available in all Toolkit users’ dashboards to be used as is appropriate for their organisation and their upcoming programme.

Crucially, this evaluation template for online works has been designed in collaboration with sector professionals to ensure that it will capture valuable insight for Toolkit users as much of their work moves online. It is not a new ‘mandatory’ evaluation, but is instead a tool to support Toolkit users as they move into the next phase of their delivery.

We welcome Toolkit users to get in touch with us for 1:1 support in developing their unique evaluations.


Thank you to all parties involved in developing the template for evaluating online works


*Update 01/11/21*

Within the Culture Counts platform, you are able to simply select the online works-specific questions you would like to add to your surveys – nice and easy! On the ‘Design’ page of any survey, click Suggestions and then select the question bank you want to explore.

Image credit: Samantha Borges via Unsplash


Page updated 01/11/21