Leadership with impact: new evaluation shows SILA is making a difference

A new evaluation of the Social Impact Leadership Australia (SILA) program, created by the Centre for Social Impact, shows that CEOs are continuing to experience significant benefits from the world-class professional development program specially tailored for our not-for-profit leaders.

The independent evaluator, Nous Group, found the SILA program continues to deliver impactful results across the spectrum including for participating CEOs, at the organisational level and within the broader social purpose ecosystem.

Three-quarters of CEOs who responded to a post-program survey rated their SILA experience as 10 out of 10.

Labelled Australia’s most comprehensive program for for-purpose leaders, the $9.8 million SILA program aims to strengthen the social purpose sector over a five-year period by enhancing the wellbeing and effectiveness of leaders, advancing organisational capability and building a network of system thinkers.

Over the first five years of the program it will offer 120 CEOs from for-purpose organisations a rare, fully-funded opportunity for tailored learning and professional development. It is jointly funded by four of Australia’s major foundations: The Myer Foundation, the Sidney Myer Fund, the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, and the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

The most recent group to complete the program was comprised of 24 CEOs based in Victoria and Tasmania.

In their overall assessment of the program, three-quarters of CEOs who responded to a post-program survey rated their SILA experience as 10 out of 10. The evaluation also found participants gave SILA an exceptional net promoter score (NPS) of 85 out of 100. An NPS score above 80 is considered a world-class result. This score is consistent with earlier feedback from the first cohort of CEOs based in NSW and ACT.

Through courses such as SILA, as well as our undergraduate and postgraduate programs, the Centre for Social Impact works to builds capacity in the for-purpose sector, educating current and future for-purpose leaders, with the ultimate goal of igniting positive social change.

Centre for Social Impact acting CEO Lyndsey McKee said the evaluation results were further confirmation of SILA’s vital role in driving the sector forward.

“This is a wonderful endorsement of the value that high quality professional development can bring not just to leaders but to organisations and systems working to drive lasting social impact” she said.

“For-purpose leaders confront a myriad of challenges in today’s landscape, including rising demand for their vital services against a climate of diminished funding. Tackling these obstacles requires new ways of thinking and system transformation, and that’s what the SILA program delivers.

“We’re only at the halfway point of our initial five years of funding, but it is clear that SILA will have an impact for many years to come.”

SILA participants have also shared their thoughts, with 95% of CEOs from Victoria and Tasmania (Cohort 2) saying they can make a difference in their organisation and sector using the skills they learned. The independent survey also revealed 100% of CEOs agreed that their organisation has or is likely to enhance its capability and culture due to their participation in SILA.

“SILA has been a transformational experience for myself and our organisation,” said one of the Cohort 2 CEOs who was interviewed for the evaluation.

“As a result of SILA…I can see now how intrinsically linked professional development is to systems reform, organisational development as well as client experiences.”

“I’m loving the program. [It’s been] life changing for me and can’t wait to see where it continues to take me. Thank you for the opportunity. It is indeed a gift,” explained another CEO.

The next group to benefit is for-purpose CEOs from Queensland and the Northern Territory, with expressions of interest in the SILA program due to open later this month.