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Infrastructure organisations can apply to gain access to free vouchers to exchange for training in social value measurement via The Big Assist.
Funded by the Big Lottery Fund and delivered through NCVO, The Big Assist is a program designed to support infrastructure organisations become more effective, sustainable, and more adaptable to change.
Organisations can apply online. If they are eligible they can receive free vouchers to spend on services across a range of areas, from strategy and managing change to building relationships and financial sustainability. Now that the SROI Network has become a registered supplier, organisations can use their vouchers on any of our SROI training courses.
Click the following links for information about eligibility for the scheme, the SROI Network’s profile on the marketplace, or other benefits of signing up, including access to an online forum and a library of resources.
FRC Group has produced what is believed to be the first integrated financial and social value report.
As well as producing annual financial accounts, the Liverpool-based social enterprise has produced an award winning Social Impact report for the past 15 years which has always undergone a rigorous audit process but this is the first time the two reports have been brought together in one integrated report, combining financial statements and social value performance.
The report has been independently audited by BDO LLP and contains an audit report on the financial accounts as well as an assurance report on the social value information.
This clearly demonstrates the value FRC Group places on the social impact it creates as well as meeting robust audit standards for the financial performance of the charity.
Graham Morris OBE, Chairman of FRC Group, said: "For the first time our public reporting fully reflects the double bottom line approach that FRC Group takes. Communicating our social value creation alongside our financial performance takes our commitment to transparent and inclusive reporting to the next level. Our finance reporting tells us if we are doing things right whereas our social value reporting tells us if we are doing the right things."
FRC Group was created as Furniture Resource Centre in 1988, a Liverpool charity formed to help families by redistributing unwanted, good quality furniture to those in need, and social purpose has always been at the heart of everything the charity does.
FRC Group is now a leading UK social business, running commercial businesses that produce financial profits and create a social dividend by giving people in poverty and unemployment the opportunity to change their lives.
Jeremy Nicholls, FRC Group Social Value Committee Chair, CEO SROI Network, said: “Integrating our social and financial reporting is a clear statement that all of this value matters to our stakeholders and that simply looking at commercial performance is not enough.”
The SROI Network (Social Return on Investment, soon to be Social Value UK) has today launched a tool to help organisations evaluate their social impact.
The online self assessment tool was created by the SROI Network in collaboration with Hall Aitken to help users judge how well their evaluation practices adhere to principles of best practice. The tool is comprised of a seven stage questionnaire, showing results as a spider chart illustrating areas of strength and areas for improvement.
The tool has had over one hundred accounts created already. Jeremy Nicholls, CEO of the SROI Network, said “this tool is invaluable for anyone wanting to look at how fair and transparent their evaluation, measurement and accounting practices are. It is easy to use and can provide a practical sense of how to improve your evaluation practices in the future.”
The questionnaire itself is structured around the seven principles of SROI. These principles include ‘involve stakeholders’, ‘be transparent’ and ‘do not overclaim’, and together make up the core framework around which SROI is based. Users receive a score for each principle, and an overall average, giving them an idea of to what extent they have successfully applied the principles. High scoring users can then use their score to guide them towards applying for assurance and accreditation.
The tool provides guidance, support and more advice to people who want to improve the way in which their organisation measures their social value and assesses their service delivery but don’t know where to start. To access the tool, users can create an account and sign up for free here.
The SROI Network are trialling a new Assurance Surgery experience.
For those wanting to gain credibility, authority and security with their claims about impact, assurance is a key part of the reporting process. It provides an independent verification that claims are valid when judged on the 7 principles of SROI.
For this reason, assurance is at the heart of what the SROI Network are trying to do long-term. It also means that assurance can be a difficult process to go through.
The SROI Network are therefore providing a new service of Assurance Services. Karl Leathem, the Assurance Manager, will be giving a seminar which will provide an overview on adherence to the principles and common pitfalls with reports.
Measuring social value is often used as a evaluative, backwards looking process, to look at how effectively a service has delivered outcomes and value. However, an equally useful route is to use social value as a forecasting tool, and the FRC Group have done just this. Adam Richards explains more:
FRC Group has developed social value budgets that are now used alongside traditional financial budgets in order to aid their strategic decision making. Working in the same way as their financial counterparts, social value budgets compare actual and forecasted performance and allow FRC Group to better understand how they are creating social value - and importantly where improvements can be made.
By adhering to SROI principles of stakeholder engagement and the understanding of significant changes in the lives of those that experience them, FRC Group is now in a position where social value is accounted for and used to drive performance improvements at all levels of the organisation. regular data is monitored and entered into systems that are used to create social value metrics, ultimately used by senior management and the board to maximise social value creation.
Being able to make decisions based on reliable social value data ultimately allows FRC Group to create more social value, thereby better serving their social mission – and as a social business this means being ever more accountable to those targeted by the Group’s activities.
FRC Group and SROI Network will be running a training course on Embedding Social Value Measurement later in the year.
Adam Richards works as social impacts special advisor to FRC Group and SROI practitioner – for a full archive of FRC Group’s social impact reports please go to www.frcgroup.co.uk. You can also follow Adam at @DrADRichards