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NFPs Need to Demonstrate Social Value


Tuesday, 6th July 2010 at 6:38 pm
Staff Reporter
Not for Profit organisations must be able to demonstrate their social value in tough economic times, argues a new UK report.

Tuesday, 6th July 2010
at 6:38 pm
Staff Reporter


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NFPs Need to Demonstrate Social Value
Tuesday, 6th July 2010 at 6:38 pm

Most charities still have a long way to go before they can measure their effectiveness using Social Return On Investment (SROI) and should be set more achievable benchmarks, according to a new report from UK Think Tank Demos.

Demos has urged NFP organisations to seize the opportunity of the recession to show the social goods that they produce offer value for money.

However, the Think Tank says few organisations have the data or expertise to use Social Return on Investments (SROI) to measure their social outcomes effectively.

Demos says differing definitions and methods to measure social value complicate the current ability to compare the success of third sector organisations.

The report, called Measuring Social Value, stresses the importance of a standardised metric to assess organisations side by side.

The report recommends working towards the Social Return on Investment model (SROI) but highlights that few organisations in the UK are ready to apply this model.

The report lists UK organisations that were randomly selected and assessed on their readiness to report their social value.

SROI Readiness according to social value reporting is ranked most ready to least ready:

  1. British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
  2. Citizen Advice
  3. Community Service Volunteers
  4. Catch 22
  5. Independent Age 
  6. COSMIC
  7. Community Enterprise Unit
  8. Eden Trust
  9. Royal National Institute for Deaf People
  10. Guide Dogs for the Blind
  11. Age Concern
  12. Action for Children
  13. Homeless Link
  14. Young Women’s Christian Association
  15. Diabetes UK
  16. Salvation Army
  17. Princess Royal Trust for Carers
  18. Southbank Centre
  19. Social Enterprise for London
  20. Royal Institute of British Architects
  21. The South East London Doctor’s Co-operative
  22. Comic Relief
  23. Keep Britain Tidy
  24. Second Byte
  25. Pack-It
  26. Catch 22 Academy
  27. The Art Fund
  28. Women’s Aid


Co-author of Measuring Social Value, Dan Leighton says demonstrating the value of intangible benefits is a tough aim but one that can and must be achieved if services are going to prove their worth.

The report is the result of four months research involving interviews and comparative analysis of 30 Not for Profit organisations’ annual reports.

Measuring Social Value: The gap between policy and practice is by Claudia Wood, a Senior Researcher at Demos and Daniel Leighton, who is Head of the Public Interest Program. The report is supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation which is an international charitable foundation with cultural, educational and social interests.

The report can be downloaded for free from www.demos.co.uk



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