Social impacts are those program outcomes that contribute to the wellbeing of the community but some have long been considered ‘intangible’ and difficult to measure.
Therefore, their value has not been included when assessing program outcomes. But work is being done to put a value on social impacts. One of the approaches is Social Return On Investment (SROI).
The process can help you put a monetary value on such outcomes as ‘increased confidence’ or ‘greater community connection’.
The SROI process produces an internationally recognised ratio but there are many ways to start your social impact measurement journey.
All of them start by asking:
What has your program really changed for the participants?
Deciding what you are going to measure and seeking stakeholder feedback to do so, provides an opportunity to make informed adjustments to your program and therefore can be used as a planning or continuous improvement tool.
The process helps with your pitch to investors and government agencies for funds. And it makes it easier to articulate your point of difference over the competitors because you can clearly communicate value.
If your organisation is interested in being around for the long haul, studies show that people are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact and that young people’s decisions about where they work are influenced by the ’cause work’ of a firm. So, if you are seeking to be a brand of choice or an employer of choice, evaluating your contributions to society will become more important.
The Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility released in 2014 showed that 55% of people are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
In addition, the 2014 Millennial Impact Report found that 63% of female and 45% of male millennials (born after 1980) say the ’cause work’ of a company affected their decision to accept a job with the company.
If you are interested in discussing the lessons and benefits of social impact measurement, please get in touch.