Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Governance

Guide To Social Return on Investment


25 May 2009 at 4:58 pm
Staff Reporter
A guide to Social Return on Investment (SROI) has been launched in the UK to help third sector organisations articulate the added social and environmental value they create.

Staff Reporter | 25 May 2009 at 4:58 pm


0 Comments


 Print
Guide To Social Return on Investment
25 May 2009 at 4:58 pm

A guide to Social Return on Investment (SROI) has been launched in the UK to help third sector organisations articulate the added social and environmental value they create.

The guide was developed as part of an ongoing Measuring Social Value project being run by a consortium by SROI UK, with New Philanthropy Capital, New Economics Foundation, Charities Evaluation Service and National Council of Voluntary Organisations as members.

Kevin Brennan, the UK Minister for the Third Sector says this new guide to Social Return on Investment is timely, as it will help third sector organisations to communicate better their impact to customers, government and the public, through measuring social and environmental value with confidence, in a standardised way that is easy for all to understand.

Here’s how the guide explains SROI:

SROI measures change in ways that are relevant to the people or organisations that experience or contribute to it. It tells the story of how change is being created by measuring social, environmental and economic outcomes and uses monetary values to
represent them.

This enables a ratio of benefits to costs to be calculated. For example, a ratio of 3:1 indicates that an investment of $1 delivers $3 of social value.

SROI is about value, rather than money. Money is simply a common unit and as such is a useful and widely accepted way of conveying value.

In the same way that a business plan contains much more information than the financial projections, SROI is much more than just a number. It is a story about change, on which to base decisions, that includes case studies and qualitative, quantitative and
financial information.

An SROI analysis can take many different forms. It can encompass the social value generated by an entire organisation, or focus on just one specific aspect of the organisation’s work. There are also a number of ways to organise the ‘doing’ of an SROI.

It can be carried out largely as an in-house exercise or, alternatively, can be led by an external researcher.

There are two types of SROI:
• Evaluative, which is conducted retrospectively and based on actual outcomes that
have already taken place.
• Forecast, which predicts how much social value will be created if the activities meet
their intended outcomes.

Forecast SROIs are especially useful in the planning stages of an activity. They can help show how investment can maximise impact and are also useful for identifying what should be measured once the project is up and running.

A lack of good outcomes data is one of the main challenges when doing an SROI for the first time. To enable an evaluative SROI to be carried out, you will need data on outcomes, and a forecast SROI will provide the basis for a framework to capture outcomes. It is often preferable to start using SROI by forecasting what the social value may be, rather than evaluating what it was, as this ensures that you have the right data collection systems in place to perform a full analysis in the future.

The level of detail required will depend on the purpose of your SROI; a short analysis for internal purposes will be less time-consuming than a full report for an external audience that meets the requirements for verification.

Download the Guide at www.thesroinetwork.org



PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Tags : Governance,

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Housing Choices Australia moves west in multi-million dollar merger

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 1st July 2020 at 6:07 pm

Data collaborations enabling innovation

Mike Davis

Wednesday, 24th June 2020 at 5:25 pm

COVID-19: Seven tips to help community organisations pivot

Lali Wiratunga

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020 at 7:00 am

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×

We need your help.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Pro Bono Australia has seen a devastating fall in advertising and less people posting on our job board, which is how we fund our free news service. You can show us that you value the work we do by making a contribution.

 Make a contribution 

You have Successfully Subscribed!