What is our Social Value? Using SROI with the Westman HUB

May 14, 2020

By Andrew, Planning and Evaluation Facilitator

At a time when demonstrating ‘value for money’ is increasingly important, organizations often wonder whether Social Return on Investment (SROI) is the right way to show the value of a program.

SROI is used to understand the wider impact of programs or initiatives that are difficult to quantify. It tells a story of how change is created by measuring social, environmental and economic outcomes – and uses monetary values to represent them. The resulting social value is stated as a ratio of program investment relative to impact. Such as, for every dollar invested, $3.00 in social value was created. (3:1)

SROI can tell a story about social impacts in monetary terms; communicate the benefits of coordinating and mobilizing resources; and capture the value of community investment activities.

Westman HUB
We had a chance to work with the Westman HUB, a community mobilization initiative that promotes community safety and well-being, to complete an SROI.  The HUB evaluation committee met regularly over an 8-month period (June 2019 to January 2020) to clarify and value changes experienced by HUB stakeholders. Administrative data review, stakeholder surveys, interviews and focus groups were used to clarify and determine changes.

This process showed that value had been created for HUB stakeholders, particularly community-serving organizations. Through improved coordination, communication and collaboration, agencies increased awareness and accountability to other agencies and implemented policy.

“Being involved in an SROI was a brand new experience for the Westman HUB.  Little did we know at the outset how rewarding it would be…  The final report…clearly explained the variables considered and the results in a manner that all could follow.  This was a very rewarding experience for our group.”
-HUB Member

The Westman HUB is using the SROI to communicate the value of their program to government departments, the health region and community-serving organizations.

Want to know what your program’s social value is? We use a simple approach that builds on your program’s existing framework or logic model. Reach out to learn more!


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Planning and Evaluation Facilitator