Here are a few pointers to help you on your way to understanding, and measuring, your social impact.
From the outside, social impact measurement, or assessment, can seem like a complicated business. However, once you have grasped the terminology and a few of the basic principles the process quickly becomes clearer. One of the main difficulties with assessing social impact is the variety of different methods used to measure it due to the diverse nature of the social enterprise sector, so some are better suited to certain organisations that others.
SOCIAL IMPACT REPORTS - GOOD PRACTICE
To see what quality social impact measurement reporting looks like, here are a few cracking examples from our members!
We also measure our social impact at Social Enterprise UK - here is our latest report.
WHY MEASURE IT?
Measuring your social impact will help you understand, manage and communicate the social value that your work creates in a clear and consistent way. This information can be used for a number of very beneficial purposes, the principle of which are:
1. Helping you better understand, and target, your social work
Detailed information about the impact your time and investment is having upon your social goals will greatly improve your ability to put your precious resources to best use. Social impact assessment helps organisations to plan better, implement more effectively, and successfully bring initiatives to scale. For instance, you can target activities that prove to be particularly beneficial, or identify and evaluate areas where your investment is not showing the return you expected.
2. Attracting investors and retaining investor confidence
Social investment has generated great hopes among many investors, but it is going to have to demonstrate measurable returns, comparable to financial yardsticks, if it is to retain investor confidence. If social investment is to become as important as financial return, the measurement of social impact must be comparably easy to understand and communicate.
3. Tendering for public sector contracts or selling goods and services
Social enterprises must be able to advertise their business in a way that is quickly and easily intelligible to public service commissioners and consumers alike. This is especially important following the passing of the Social Value Act, as information about social impact provides substance and strength to contract bids, informing commissioners and partners of the added or increased benefits of social enterprise.
MEASURING SOCIAL IMPACT
SEUK can help measure your social impact - for more information contact Charlie Wigglesworth on 020 3589 4952 or email@example.com