A major challenge facing organisations working on greenspace projects and activities is demonstrating the multiple benefits of their activities. Social Return on Investment (SROI) provides a method for measuring social, environmental and economic change. It is a way of accounting for the value created by our activities and uses financial amounts to represent the value of the changes for those who experience them.
Put simply, SROI involves people in measuring the changes they experience and giving them a financial value. It can be used to both plan and evaluate activities.
Assurance and accreditation
greenspace scotland has successfully submitted two Social Return on Investment (SROI) reports to the SROI Network for assurance.
Assurance means that these reports have been independently assessed; qualified practitioners have confirmed they meet an agreed standard and have been prepared in line with the principles of SROI. The two reports are part of the greenspace is good - so prove it! programme which enabled 10 greenspace community groups to use a Social Return on Investment (SROI) approach to measure the value of their activities:
The Bums Off Seats SROI Report provides an evaluation of the social return from investing in a health walk in Dunfermline
The Auchinleck Community Development Initiative SROI Report provides a forecast of the social return from investing in a community growing and training initiative
As a result greenspace scotland now has an Accredited SROI practitioner on the staff team and we can offer further SROI services and support including awareness raising and training services on the SROI process and how it can be used to demonstrate the value of greenspace projects and activities. We are also able to undertake SROI analyses; we can do these on a consultancy basis or can offer mentoring and support. We have been commissioned to work on a number of new SROI analyses and will report on the findings of these here.
greenspace scotland is the only organisation in the UK that has experience of working with both professional staff and community group volunteers to apply an SROI approach. For more information on SROI support and services contact Karen Carrick, SROI Programme Manager