How Can Social Return on Investment Increase Your Funding?

Are you familiar with the term Return on Investment (ROI)? ROI measures the gain or loss generated on an investment versus the amount of money invested. This measurement helps us know how much profit we are seeing from a business or business investment.

How about the term Social Return on Investment (SROI)? This term may not be as familiar to you. Let’s take a look at what SROI is and how it can change the way you and your donors look at your organization’s work.

Let’s say, for example, you’re a Christian university with a mission that is student career focused. Your desire is to help students utilize their educational learning by opening doors to impact their careers for Christ. The investment in infrastructures, faculty, staff, accreditations, department and program needs can have a high investment rate.

How can you express to donors a return on investment with graduate success?

Or, let’s say your organization’s mission is to release participants into the community as self-sufficient, productive citizens. Social Return on Investment looks at how much it costs for you to train, counsel, coach, and equip each participant. Then, compares those costs with how much you have impacted and saved the neighborhood, community, government in productivity, funding, incarceration expenses and other areas specific to your program.

We know you are very efficient with how you spend and invest your funding, whether it be saving tax-payer dollars or performing better results with what you do have. Compared to some government funded organizations, faith-based non-profits spend up to 2/3 LESS than other programs, yet have greater results and impact. Unfortunately, your organization may struggle with expressing these savings and outcomes.

SROI Investments and Results

So, what can you track to be able to show SROI as you steward your donors funding well? Let's look at some examples:

SROI Investment
SROI Result

All your students at ABC Bible Institute will have an integrated educational experience that allows students to integrate Biblical principles into practical career experiences.

Graduates are influencing their respective careers through Biblical character and leadership example.

Re-entry individual will attend courses for life and soft skill training as well as individual and family coaching for personal and professional success.

Participant does not return to incarceration saving the community $52,000 a year per inmate and adding a tax-paying member in the community.

The Financial University for Teens will provide a high school student the knowledge and practice needed to implement a budget, understand savings and investing and build wealth to accomplish individual goals.

The teenager is able to implement healthy financial habits that enable him/her to make major investments in school, housing, or business ventures increasing the city’s talent base, while increasing his/her quality of life within the community.

Students in XYZ Technical School are provided with the necessary training, practice, certification, and on-the-job training and coaching to enable them to be successful in this field.

The graduates have the technical skills needed in this specific field to meet our town’s industry employee needs and educational baseline for employ-ability.

The strategy of Life Radio Ministry will provide opportunities on and off the air to engage with the listener to encourage discipleship, Bible study and practice.

The listener is equipped to live a joyful, Christ-centered, Biblically-based life to impact our community by being a loving, positive, inclusive, productive member in the community.

How to Use SROI Results

This example of results can be an impressive messaging tool to donors. Outcomes that impact a specific area, town, community, state, or society are very attractive to those looking to invest in an organization. It says you see beyond meeting a direct or current need.

You can use SROI in multiple ways:

  1. Implements important information in an annual report
  2. Identifies talking points for you with major donors
  3. Helps to evaluate and measure your current and future impact
  4. Helps leaders in evaluating strategy
  5. Provides a framework for program and curriculum development
  6. Gives a bigger picture of your impact

You can see how understanding SROI can be helpful. SROI can help drive strategy and measure your results. Those investing in your non-profit want and even seek organizations that understand and can communicate SROI.

Let’s talk more about SROI specifically for your organization. Just request your free coaching call to start the conversation >>