Social Return on Investment (SROI)

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SROI is about value, rather than money. It is much more than a number. Money is simply a common unit and widely accepted way of conveying value. We make SROI tell you a story about change and value and sustainable business, on which to base decisions.

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Social Return on Investment (SROI) can be used as a stand-alone service for assessing and forecasting the cost-benefits and outcomes of public and private impact investment initiatives. Combined with our Systemic Theory of Change method, it can also help to assess the Sustainable Development footprint of investments up and downstream the value chain, supporting innovation for sustainable business solutions.

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SROI measures the effects of investments and the changes it triggers in investees’ lives, organizations and businesses. It does this in a way that is relevant to both the investees and the investors. Drawing on case studies and qualitative, quantitative and financial information, it tells the story of emergent change by measuring social, environmental and economic outcomes and using monetary values to represent these. This enables a ratio of benefits to costs to be calculated. For example, a ratio of 3:1 indicates that an investment of €1 delivers €3 of social value.

The method can be of great value for

1. Evaluation that retrospectively assesses the social, environmental and economic outcomes and returns on private and public impact investments.

2. Evaluation that forcasts how much value will be created if investments achieve their intended social, environmental and economic outcomes.

3. Impact M&E that assesses emerging outcomes up- and downstream the value chain, and forecasts the investments’ Sustainable Development footprint based on this.