WINGS: Measuring social value and impact

Impact assessment, social return on investment (SROI) and evaluation were identified by WINGS members and partners as top trends in the philanthropy world. There is increasing recognition that we need better ways to account for the social, economic and environmental value that results from our activities. 

To better understand philanthropy’s needs and practices, WINGS ran a survey with philanthropy infrastructure organizations, foundations and private social investors, in partnership with Social Value UK. It was interesting to notice that although 56 per cent of respondents stated that social impact information was very important, only 43 per cent have a specific methodology. Another issue is that several different indicators are being used, pointing to a need for more coordination and standardization.

Understanding and managing this need is therefore increasingly important for infrastructure organizations – 80 per cent of them provide support in measuring impact to their members in the form of resource, for example, information or best practice guides; training and consultancy. Most of these organizations also measure their own impact and showed a high interest in receiving different kinds of training on the issue.

In response to these needs, WINGS gathered members from Europe, Latin America, North America, and the Arab Region in Berlin in July to exchange knowledge and experiences on Social Return on Investment, learn more about best approaches, and discuss organizational challenges to implementing a measurement process. This was the first step to help WINGS members in their role supporting philanthropy organizations worldwide in their quest for measuring impact.

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