A Sinzer Case: Europeana Foundation: The Social Impact of (digital) Cultural Heritage

Europeana Foundation is the institute for digital cultural heritage in Europe.

Sinzer initially helped Europeana with a small-scale impact assessment for 3 of their digital collections. This process commenced with drawing out a Theory of Change in several multi-stakeholder workshops, by answering questions like: who experiences change as a result of accessing or sharing information? What changes do stakeholders experience? How can these changes be influenced by tweaking activities, products and services? Once the Theory of Change was developed, data was collected to test exactly how much change was created for whom by sending surveys to various stakeholder groups.

Besides gaining insights for their own organization, Europeana got increasingly motivated to share the gained impact expertise and theory with others in the sector. Hence, as a second deliverable the ‘Impact Playbook’ has been developed: a guide meant for (digital) culture and cultural heritage organizations, like galleries, libraries, museums and archives, with theory as well as practical step-by-step instruction and tools to help these organizations better understand, manage, and demonstrate the social impact they create – which is becoming increasingly important in a time where funding for such organizations is under pressure.

Currently the firm is collaborating with Europeana to create a ‘Playbook part II’, which focuses on using elements of ‘economic’ impact assessment in context of (digital) culture and cultural heritage.