All the approaches above should lead to a significant social impact. But how significant? And how impactful?
Thinking that due to social outcome is about impacting people’s lives we can’t secure your return over investment is a myth. Not only we MUST secure it, as we have a specific method for that.
Social Return on Investment (SROI) is about redress the balance by looking at value, not just cost. It includes the values of stakeholders that are often excluded from markets in order to give people a voice in resource allocation decisions. It aims to increase social equality, environmental sustainability and wellbeing.
This means SROI is NOT trying to find some financial values to attach to the targets achieved, but a principles-based method for measuring extra-financial VALUE, standardized by the Social Value UK.
These principles are:
- Involve everyone who changes as a result of what you do: involve beneficiary and other stakeholders in planning, what gets measured and how.
- Understand what changes: develop a story of change and gather evidence of positive and negative change.
- Value the things that matter: rate the importance of different outcomes by valuing economic, social and environmental benefits and costs (not captured in existing financial accounting value).
- Only include what is material: report on everything that is relevant and significant – but no more.
- Do not over-claim: compare your results with what would have happened anyway.
- Be transparent: explain all your evidence and assumptions clearly.
- Verify the result: use others to check your results.
But applying those principles and following some other practices from this method, we can structure a solid SROI report. This will be given to the client by the end of each milestone or project conclusion.