Social Value – A principles-based framework to maximise impact
Social value is not new, but when compared to financial accounting, social accounting is very much a new born compared to the mature well-established world of finance. We are all required to submit our annual accounts every year and will keep an eager eye on our incomings and outgoings and compare these to our monthly budget. Waiting 12 months to measure our financial performance would be deemed far too risky within an organisation. Yet, when it comes to data about changes to people’s lives, we will often forget about this until it’s time to write another grant application or we need some information for our annual report and we risk not being able to maximise impact.
Social Value Cymru are Social Value Partners with Social Value UK and we share their vision of ‘Changing the way the world accounts for value’. Similar to financial accounting, social value is built on a framework of principles, and these are principles that we should all adhere to when making decisions that will help to reduce inequality, reduce environmental harm and improve people’s well-being.
Social Value Cymru is based within Mantell Gwynedd, and as a County Voluntary Council, a question we have been asked is – ‘well, we work in the voluntary sector and therefore everything we do is creating social value, so why do I need to invest time and resources in measuring impact?’ That might well be true, but how do we know? Have we asked the people that we work with what difference we’ve made in their lives? Can we demonstrate the difference we’ve made to both internal and external stakeholders? Do we have the information available that can help us to plan and make decisions based on what is important for the people that we work with? Investing time and resources in measuring and managing social value can not only help to confirm that we are indeed creating positive changes in people’s lives, but will also help us to demonstrate and communicate these changes to stakeholders and most importantly will help us to maximise the impact in people’s lives and ensure we are accountable for all of the changes in people’s lives as a result of our activities. In Wales, it can also help us to demonstrate how we are contributing towards our well-being goals. (https://www.futuregenerations.wales/cy/about-us/future-generations-act/)
Social Value Cymru provides social value support, advice and consultancy services to third sector organisations. Using our expertise and experience we can provide you with a range of services that allows social value information to help you to make even more positive changes for people and the environment, strengthen your governance and assist funding applications.
We have successfully worked with various social businesses and charities to demonstrate their social value, including Barnardo’s, Stepping Stones, The Outdoor Partnership, GISDA and CAIS. We also provide training to suit various requirements, have worked closely with other County Voluntary Councils and public bodies in North Wales and beyond.
We know that by working with stakeholders we are able to understand how activities create impacts on people’s lives and organisations.
Employing the Principles of Social Value means that we can value these impacts, and by doing so we have helped organisations to better understand, communicate and manage the social value of their work.
Social Value Cymru contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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