CSACO    Community Services Analysis LLC

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What Is Social Return on Investment?


 
 

 In normal financial analysis, Return on Investment is the meaurement of money gained or lost relative to the money invested. In social service organizations, Social Return on Investment is an attempt to measure the financial values created by the organization through delivery of services to the community. 

 Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a new approach to measuring and understanding the future financial impact of an organization. While SROI is built on the logic of cost/benefit analysis, it is different in that it is designed to measure the comparable accountability and value of organizations whose results cannot always be easily measured in money.

 In the same way that a business plan contains much more information than just the financial projections, SROI provides information about actual and planned changes, and the qualitative, quantitative, and financial information on which to base decisions about social service organizations.

 There are two types of SROI analysis:

Evaluative analysis – which is based on actual outputs and outcomes that have already taken place or are currently in process;

  Forecast analysis - which predicts how much financial social value will be created if the activities meet their intended outcomes.

 An SROI analysis can take many different forms. It can encompass the social value generated by an entire organization, or focus on just one specific aspect or the organization’s work.  

SROI analysis has been a conceptual development since the 1960’s. Many trial processes have been undertaken and many academic articles written about the process since then. The SROI process became fully developed during the last decade, primarily based on a detailed multi-year studies conducted by the SROI Network, The New Economics Foundation, New Philanthropy Capital, the National Council on Voluntary Organization, and the Government of Scotland.

Community Services Analysis LLC is the first organization in the United States to be a member of the international SROI Network.