Good business, it seems, involves a great deal of confusing communication. While some of us cringe at the thought of asking potentially “stupid” questions, others of us have the guts to ask for clarification when we have no idea what’s being said, because, regardless of your role, you don’t want to be the only one who nods with a confused smile when there’s a RFD because the CTR for your website decreased and a QA test is required by EOD. There is also a pressing need to respond to customer RFQ but FYI, the ETA on required variables is way beyond schedule and you need to keep your eye on EBITDA and the ROI for your shareholders. Unfortunately you can’t be AWOL and need to complete it ASAP ……!!!

It was through one such conversation with Lighthouse that we came to understand the importance of SROI (Social Return on Investment). As it turns out SROI becomes pretty important for companies like 23 Degrees North who position themselves as market leaders rather than cash competitors (i.e we compete on value not on price). As William Bruce Cameron famously said:

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a systematic way of incorporating social, environmental, economic and other values into a decision-making processes. By moving beyond a traditional Cost Benefit analysis the economic value of social and environmental outcomes is also acknowledged to create a more holistic perspective on whether a proposal is beneficial and profitable. This perspective opens up new opportunities and forms the basis for innovative initiatives like those offered by 23 Degrees North that genuinely contribute to positive social change. [click here for an illustrative example].

23 Degrees North has now added SROI Analysis and Reporting to the services it offers clients. Particularly for non-profit organisations, its a powerful tool for understanding the true impact of innovation and providing accountability for both clients and funders.

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