Social Return on Investment (SROI)
Social Return on Investment (SROI) measures the value of social outcomes. But it doesn’t just measure. Organizations can use SROI to
• Verify their outcomes
• Find out what stakeholders really value—and therefore what to measure
• Articulate for funders and policy makers the impact of money spent
• Understand the relative value of different outcomes—and therefore set priorities among program options.
SROI is a principles-based process that includes:
• Discovering what stakeholders (including clients!) value
• Understanding the changes that result from services and verifying social impacts
• Assigning a value to what is material and avoiding claims based purely on guesswork
• Transparency about data sources, assumptions and valuation
Although it came from the non-profit and public sectors, SROI has me thinking about how for-profit companies can use SROI. You can use SROI to understand the impact of things like energy-saving programs (say, rewarding employees for biking to work) and volunteerism.
Read the position paper at New Philanthropy Capital (free registration and resources at philanthropycapital.org).