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Jan
20

Yet Another Acronym, S.R.O.I ?

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

A learning opportunity to share…

Offering a different process in developing your organizational strategic and operational work plan by “adding a new tool in your already full tool box”. This process would be very valuable when applying for sustainability funding. As a community leader(s) in the NPVS you are more than likely participating in this process, many may describe it as “community development”; now many refer to it as Social Return on Investment (SROI). So how do I use this you ask? enjoy the read….

Organisations which have social objectives will want to know if they are achieving these objectives. SROI is a method that can help organisations design systems that ensure they have the information they need.

This information can help in developing strategies to increase the social and environmental value you create, manage activities by comparing performance against forecasts and help communicate with funders and beneficiaries.

What is Social Return on Investment (SROI)?

SROI is based on seven principles:

  1. Involve stakeholders
    Understand the way in which the organisation creates change through a dialogue with stakeholders
  2. Understand what changes
    Acknowledge and articulate all the values,  objectives and stakeholders of the organisation before agreeing which aspects of the organisation are to be included in the scope; and determine what must be included in the account in order that stakeholders can make reasonable decisions
  3. Value the things that matter
    Use financial proxies for indicators in order to include the values of those excluded from markets in same terms as used in markets
  4. Only include what is material
    Articulate clearly how activities create change and evaluate this through the evidence gathered
  5. Do not over-claim
    Make comparisons of performance and impact using appropriate benchmarks, targets and external standards.
  6. Be transparent
    Demonstrate the basis on which the findings may be considered accurate and honest; and showing that they will be reported to and discussed with stakeholders
  7. Verify the result
    Ensure appropriate independent verification of the account

SROI is an approach to understanding and managing the value of the social, economic and environmental outcomes created by an activity or an organisation. It is based on a set of principles that are applied within a framework.

SROI seeks to include the values of people who are often excluded from markets in the same terms as used in markets, that is money, in order to give people a voice in resource allocation decisions. SROI is a framework to structure thinking and understanding. It’s a story, not a number. The story should show how you understand the value created, manage it and can prove it.

Feel free to read this article for more information on SROI: http://www.thesroinetwork.org/publications-uk/doc_download/76-social-return-on-investment–for-social-investing

Yvonne Rempel | 780.827-1464 | yvonne.rempel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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