Thursday, August 15, 2002
Just like companies deal with ROI, nonprofits (and in fact, businesses) should be looking at SROI or Social Return on Investment is a very interesting concept that was brought to my attention by the newly formed MIT Club of Northern California SEI or Social Entrepreneurship Initiative that organized a workshop on just that:
Corporations, foundations, and individuals donate to charitable causes for many reasons - because it feels good, because it's tax-deductible, because we believe in the cause. The recent trend in philanthropy, however, has been towards accountability in donation. Just as venture capitalists demand to know what is the return on their investment, the new "venture philanthropists" are asking the same question: What is the social impact of every dollar we donate to a cause? In other words, what is the social return on investment, or SROI?
The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) has some great documents on this and other issues available for downloading.