Helping you understand, measure
and communicate your Social Impact
You only get one chance to tell your story so make the most of it.

Measuring your Social Impact

Gauge NI

Ahead of a series of SROI (Social Return On Investment) Practitioner Training Workshops hosted by Gauge NI in this month, Stephen McGarry talks about the importance of the practice in demonstrating social impact.

In today’s tough economic climate, it is more important than ever for organisations to demonstrate the value of their work, particularly those organisations funded by public money.

It’s very easy to say, for example, that a charity, a project or an organisation’s corporate social responsibility strategy does good work and has a broad reach.  But this can be difficult to demonstrate in any meaningful way.

Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a method of showing the value of your organisation in a tangible way. SROI is an approach to understanding and managing the impacts of a project, organisation or policy. It is based on stakeholders and uses financial value of the important impacts identified by stakeholders to identify what is important to them.

An organisation that works to alleviate poverty will be well aware of how valuable it is not just to those it supports but to society as a whole. SROI helps put a monetary value on that work, allowing the organisation to articulate clearly just how much of an impact they have.

By using the SROI model, that charity could determine for every pound it spends what this equates to in social, environmental and economic value.

An anti-poverty charity could tell its investors just how amazing its work is and show investors the real life examples of those it helps. But imagine the charity is then able to tell those investors that as well as these amazing and emotive examples of its work, that every £1 it invests equates to £9 of social value?

SROI is an amazing tool for demonstrating your worth to funders, investors, policy makers and government. In today’s fast-paced society, when the public purse has never been tighter, imagine your ‘elevator pitch’ being a tangible, social value of your work?  What’s an elevator pitch?  Well, imagine this: you are travelling in an elevator and it stops at a floor; billionaire Bill Gates gets in and asks about you do; you know he wants to help organisations such as yours, but what do you say? How to you win him over? You can tell him that you do amazing work that makes a real difference to people’s lives, but the hook that will get his attention and (potentially) his funding could be the fact that for every £1 your organisation spends, £9 is generated in social value.  

It would be difficult for him to say no to this and you have this figure thanks to carrying out a SROI report on your organisation.

It is just as important to realise SROI is a framework to structure thinking and understanding. It’s a story not just a number. The story should show how you understand the value created, manage it and can prove it.

Next month (24 and 25 February 2015) an SROI Practitioner Training Course will be facilitated by the social enterprise Gauge NI and delivered by an SROI Network accredited practitioner right here in Belfast. Gauge NI leads the field in helping organisations across all sectors north and south of the border to understand, measure and communicate their social impact. Gauge NI’s profits are reinvested back into the work of its parent social enterprise NOW Group, which supports people with barriers to employment and learning across NI into the workforce.  Gauge is responsible for NOW Group’s annual Impact Card, the groundbreaking tool that tells the story of the organisation's yearly achievements and social impact in an easy-to-follow, at-a-glance format using infographics and numbers.

The Gauge NI SROI Practitioner Training Course provides training suitable for those seeking to become accredited practitioners and is designed as the first step for individuals considering doing SROI analysis. No prior experience is required. Trainees from the community and voluntary, statutory and private sector will all find this invaluable.  If you truly want to understand and demonstrate the value your work makes on the stakeholders that matter – the community around you – then this course is an essential starting point.

SROI Practitioner Training Course Cost: We are offering at ‘Early Bird’ rate of £600 (exc VAT) for places booked before February 7th and a rate of £695 (exc VAT) for any bookings thereafter.  The price includes training costs, materials, certification and first year membership of The SROI Network and all associated refreshments for both days.

Booking Enquiries: Availability or bookings please contact Stephen or Gemma on +44 (0)28 9023 4414 or email

Course Enquiries: For more information about training, contact Stephen McGarry on +44 (0)28 9023 4414 /

Call us: 028 9043 6400
Gauge NI: 15-17 Grosvenor Road, Belfast, BT12 4GN