Social impact evaluation

What is Social Impact and why is it important?

Social impact is the net effect of an activity by a public, private or third sector organisation on a community including the well-being of individuals and families. It is important to measure social impact to demonstrate to stakeholders and funders that a project or organisation is making a difference.

It is most commonly measured by considering the social return on investment (SROI). SROI measures change and tells the story of how change is being created by measuring social, environmental and economic outcomes and uses monetary values to represent them, enabling a ratio of benefits to costs to be calculated1.

What we offer

  • We use proven SROI/ Social Value methodologies and experienced teams to:
  • demonstrate the value that an organisation adds to funders and wider society, helping to defend against cuts or argue for increased funding;
  • clarify the effect of projects on particular individuals or groups to help engagement and collaboration;
  • forecast expected outcomes from both existing and new activities and develop future measures for assessing performance; and
  • demonstrate compliance with funder and regulator requirements, including the now mandatory Public Benefit test for charities.

We have the expertise

Our specialist team can help you:

  • identify, backed by evidence, the causal links between interventions, outcomes and impacts;
  • evaluate outcomes to assess whether they have happened in an efficient, effective and Value For Money way; and
  • calculate ROI by adding up the benefits, subtracting any negatives and comparing the result to the investment.

We have a strong track record in social impact evaluation including:

  • evaluation of Social Prescribing Models for an English Local Authority;
  • economic, Social, Health and Wellbeing Impact Assessment for a Housing Association;
  • due diligence of a Community Bank’s proposal to deliver economic, social and environmental impacts; and
  • evaluation of labour market programmes, geared to supporting the long term unemployed.

To find out more about how social impact evaluation can provide you with a measure of how effective your organisation is at generating measurable social benefits, please contact Jenny Irwin.


1 http://www.socialvalueuk.org/resources/sroi-guide/

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