Social Return on Investment: New Methods

Individuals, governments, and organizations invest money—grants, loans, and equity capital—with the intention of creating a better world. Their fundamental question is, “What did we get for our money?”

At the same time, the people whom these investments are intended to benefit ask, “What did we get for our money, effort, and sacrifice?”

The answers may not be the same.

One way to understand the diversity of answers is with social return on investment, or SROI. There are a number of competing SROI methods. Gargani + Company has developed one that highlights multiple stakeholder perspectives, distinguishes multiple forms of value, and transparently reports the quality of results.

We don’t use SROI merely to calculate a single number. We use it to tell complex stories.

We not only use this method, we train other professionals to apply it as we do—to give voice to all, in ways that improve the decisions that affect them.