SRoI Report - Lessons Learned in Australia
13 March 2012 at 9:05 am
It is essential that organisations wanting to create social change in Australia become more sophisticated in assessing performance against social impact, according to a new report.
The report by the Australian Social Return on Investment (SROI) Network in a partnership with Social Ventures Australia, the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers Foundation details the lessons learned in Australia and concludes that SRoI is indispensable.
The report assesses three key questions: Is it worthwhile to continue to apply the SROI approach? If so, how could it be done better? What actions should be undertaken to further develop SROI policy and practice, and increase its take-up in Australia?
The report makes eleven recommendations for how the Partnership, investors, Not for Profit organisations and social enterprises, and governments can continue to develop SROI and extend its use in Australia.
The report says that at an organisational level, the benefits that accrue to organisations which conduct or commission an SRoI analysis are considerable. Organisations are able to:
- evidence the social impact their activities are achieving, most for the first time;
- gain deeper insight into the impact they are having on all their stakeholders;
- learn what is and isn’t working and use this as input into strategy;
- are usually highly motivated by the results;
- strengthen their management and monitoring systems; and,
- provide a compelling story to investors.
It says that investors in Not for Profit organisations and social enterprises appreciate a succinct, trustworthy, sophisticated and accessible account of the social value being achieved with the funds invested.
They report using SRoI as a significant process for building relationships with the organisations they support and for gaining information which informs future investment decisions.
The report also recommends that the proposed SRoI Partnership engage with the Australian Government on the take-up and development of SRoI.
Finally, it recommends that improvements be made to the processes used to accredit SRoI practitioners, to ensure the ongoing quality and integrity of SRoI reports, and to maintain
confidence in them.
Read the full report here (PDF).