Measuring And Comparing Social Value Creation

Advantages and disadvantages of a new comparability method, IRIS, GIIRS, and SROI

Authored by: Arne Kroeger , Christiana Weber

Routledge Handbook of Social and Sustainable Finance

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138777545
eBook ISBN: 9781315772578
Adobe ISBN: 9781317678830


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Measuring and comparing social value creation is a topic of continuing interest in society, politics, science, business, and economics. Assessing social value creation helps decision-makers improve the allocation of resources when interventions in the not-for-profit sector become necessary. Additionally, it facilitates the comparison of interventions in light of best practice. It also aids the reporting of an intervention’s social effectiveness to governmental institutions, foundations, and impact investors for fund-raising purposes and helps prove their social status to society. In turn, funders use evaluations to choose between different funding options and to monitor the development of the interventions they finance. Scholars, social analysts, and managers of foundations and social enterprises have therefore repeatedly tried to develop appropriate frameworks for measuring and comparing social value creation (Brandstetter & Lehner, 2015; McLoughlin et al., 2009). By 2012 the Trasi Database contained as many as 178 approaches and tools for measuring and comparing social value (Foundation Center, 2012). However, the wide range of instruments for such measurement and comparison is overwhelming. Literature on not-for-profit management, social entrepreneurship, and program evaluation lacks analyses and comparative discussions of instruments, particularly approaches that have been developed through and applied in practice.

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