OHIO UNIVERSITY’S Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology provides quantified measures of social impact in economic terms, enabling enterprises, organizations, programs, and projects to express value in a return ratio:
For every $1 invested, we generate $XX of social impact.
Traditional financial return on investment (ROI) expresses financial returns to private investors.
SROI measures economic value of social impact investments for returns to specific stakeholders or to society generally in terms of costs avoided or benefits attained.
SROI provides verifiable measures of the economic value of social impact.
Beneficiaries: For-profit social enterprises, impact investors, non-profit entities, philanthropic organizations, public programs, government institutions, and other entities seeking to create public and social value.
Solution: Quantify value created using generally-accepted impact measures and applying data driven metric system to measure—in economic terms—the social value of results achieved
compared with investment required.
Purpose: SROI enables stakeholder consensus for measurable accountability, data-driven investment decisions, strategic planning, and meaningful stakeholder communications.
Differentiators: SROI is not a rating system, certification program, assessment tool, or similar reporting framework that measures the nonfinancial value of social impacts. Rather, it is a “fiscal proxy” calculation of economic value based on key performance indicators, measuring costs avoided and benefits attained, and delivering a “return ratio” that measures how effectively investment is leveraged to achieve results.