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Books and Guides

The results of the 2016 Social Value International survey on the understanding and use of the Social Value Principles.

This supplement highlights some of the issues around the links between SROI and commissioning policy.

This supplement explains how SROI can be used by investors if they want to integrate SROI approaches into investment decisions.

Supplementary Guidance document that accompanies “A Guide to Social Return on Investment (2012) and focuses on Principle 2. Within the context of all of the Principles of Social Value, “understand what changes” is pivotal. It is so closely intertwined with many of the other principles that it is essential it is applied well. The aim of the guidance is to help you know how to collect the information you need about ‘changes’ and how to analyse this information in order to produce a set of well-defined outcomes. This guidance is essential for anyone looking to maximise value and increase well-being, equality, and environmental stability.

The purpose of stakeholder involvement is to reduce the risk that an analysis of change arising from an organisations activities misstates the change. The principle says that involvement is required to ‘inform what gets measured and how this is measured and valued by involving stakeholders. The focus of this supplement is on involvement in general and not on the specifics of what is measured, or how it is measured or valued.

This supplement expands the guidance in relation to determining materiality in SROI analyses that would be made public.

A blank, Excel template of the impact map to help calculate social value.

2012 edition of the Guide to Social Return on Investment

Social Value UK provide assurance on behalf of Social Value International that tests reports for a good understanding and application of Social Value Principles and process.
The criteria set out in this document can be applied to any social value/impact report. However, to assure an SROI report, Principle 3 “Value the things that matter” requires the use of financial proxies.

This document by The SIB Group and The Good Analyst is aimed at helping organisations that are looking to develop their own social impact measurement and reporting. It draws on a wide body of existing research to set out the fundamentals of measuring impact and working with results. It takes a non-prescriptive approach, as they believe that the first requirement of any impact measurement system is that it is of greatest use to you. Rather than telling you what you have to measure, the guidelines lay down an explicit framework as to how your ideas, your activities, and the things that matter most to you can be assembled into a coherent system for impact measurement and reporting.

These documents explain the relationship between Social Return on Investment (SROI) and 1) Social Accounting and Audit (SAA), 2) GIIRS Ratings & Analytics (“GIIRS” stands for the Global Impact Investing Ratings System) a comprehensive, comparable, and transparent system for assessing the social and environmental impact of companies and funds with a ratings and analytics approach analogous to Morningstar investment rankings, and 3) IRIS (Impact Reporting and Investment Standards) standardized performance indicators to help an organization understand its impact in a credible and comparable way.

The stories charities and social enterprises tell about the difference they make can engage, inform and inspire stakeholders. Clearly communicating the impact of your work is important. This document, developed for the sector, by the sector, offers a guide to help you think about how you should communicate your impact, and what you should communicate. This document sets out principles of good impact reporting, to help charities and social enterprises tell their own story about impact.

By using these principles to demonstrate their impact, charities and social enterprises can have a strong influence on how they are perceived. They can help to shift the prevailing focus away from concerns about administration costs or chief executives’ salaries, and towards what really matters: the difference they make in people’s lives.

Case Studies

Mondelēz International is a global snacking powerhouse and the company behind many of the world’s best-known snack brands including Oreo, Cadbury and Toblerone.

Their ‘Be Healthy’ programme was launched almost 10 years ago, read the SROI case study.

External Databases and Resources

The world’s most comprehensive, free access point for evidence to support policy makers, stakeholders and researchers interested in how to strengthen or reform health systems or in how to get cost-effective programs, services and drugs to those who need them.

Charting Impact is a common framework from Independent Sector that allows staff, boards, stakeholders, donors, volunteers, and others to work together, learn from each other and serve the community better. It complements planning, evaluation, and assessment that organizations already undertake, and can be used by nonprofits and foundations of all sizes and missions.

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The GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines offer Reporting Principles, Standard Disclosures and an Implementation Manual for the preparation of sustainability reports by organisations, regardless of their size, sector or location. The Guidelines also offer an international reference for all those interested in the disclosure of governance approach and of the environmental, social and economic performance and impacts of organisations. The Guidelines are useful in the preparation of any type of document which requires such disclosure.

Opinion and Comment

The results of the 2016 Social Value International survey on the understanding and use of the Social Value Principles.


The results of the 2016 Social Value International survey on the understanding and use of the Social Value Principles.

The StrategicFrame, developed by the University of Sydney Business School, is an organising framework that helps coordinate the process of measuring and improving an organisation’s performance and impact.

The StrategicFrame brings the focus back to the organisation. It can be useful regardless of your organisation’s mission, size, stage of development, or time available. It can assist you develop a coherent story with sufficient context and depth to communicate your impact, incorporating multiple measurement tools (such as SROI, IRIS, Outcomes Stars or internal measures).


This webinar, from Charity Navigator, introduces their rating dimension. Called Results Reporting, the new metrics specifically examine how well charities report on their results. In the following recording of the webinar, experts explain why Charity Navigator developed Results Reporting metrics, introduce the new methodology and explain the process for implementation.

Published by: , , 2014

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Working Papers and Research

The results of the 2016 Social Value International survey on the understanding and use of the Social Value Principles.

If the purpose of social investment is to use capital in order to effect positive social change, then delivering and evidencing that positive change must be at the core of what social investors do.

This report by Investing for Good, reports on how 10 UK leading social investors incorporate social impact in screening and assessing investments as well as how transactions are priced and structured and investment decisions made. It also provides a useful overview of the current state of impact measurement practices in the social finance sector and the practical challenges that investors are facing. There was variance amongst the approaches taken by the 10 investors with some taking a “system-driven” approach and others a less formal one; reliant on discussions, narratives and a deep understanding of the risks in the market.

The SIAA Challenge Report 2014 by Kate Ruff provides an overview of an international competition between impact analysts who were given the same real data from the same real charity and asked to create a comprehensive, concise and compelling assessment of the charity’s impact.

CFG has an Impact Reporting Steering Group chaired by Paul Breckell, Managing Director of Corporate Resources at RNID:Action on Hearing Loss. This group feeds into the development of CFG member services and policy work around impact reporting.

With an increased emphasis on transparency and accountability, demonstration of social value and payment by results, being able to look meaningfully at and communicate the overall impact of your organisation is becoming more and more important.

In February 2011 the summary report, by Paul Breckell, Kate Harrison and Nicola Robert, Impact Reporting in the UK Charity Sector was published jointly by CFG and Cass Business School. The report was the result of a collaborative piece of research into the current state of impact reporting in the UK charity sector.

Many charities are very good at telling people about what they do—their outputs. But often, they struggle to translate this into what their work is actually achieving. How have their activities led to tangible changes in the lives of those they seek to help? NPC’s report by Eibhlin Ni Ogain, Jane Thomas, Mathilde Williams, Sarah Hedley, Sarah Keen and Tris Lumley looks at how charities in the UK talk about impact, and provides advice on good impact reporting.

The report details NPC’s analysis of the annual reports, annual reviews, impact reports and websites of 20 of the top 100 UK fundraising charities, highlighting examples of good practice, and offer advice for charities wishing to take the report’s findings on board, and take practical steps towards communicating what matters, in the most effective way possible.

Published by: , , 2010