Foundations, Community Trusts & Governments

Measurement is the sector’s greatest area of untapped potential

Photo: New World Symphony

The ability to deliver and attract substantial and sustainable investments in social good has been limited by the lack of meaningful metrics.

The ProSocial Valuation Service changes the paradigm, enabling everyone to give and use funds in a way that matters more.

For creators of Social Capital, including nonprofits, NGOs and social entrepreneurs, the ProSocial Valuation Service unlocks the power of your initiative by articulating the value of investing in it.

Using evidence-based research in which there is a proven correlation between a given intervention and a specific impact, stakeholders are galvanized and can respond to increasing pressure from donors for concrete measures of success.

We enable you to leverage overlooked assets traditionally viewed as “soft” by valuing intangibles, such as the audacity of your mission.

And by concurrently addressing the CSR, HR, marketing, community affairs and philanthropic needs at companies, a ProSocial Valuation enables you to tap multiple budgets within a firm.

We also measure any social capital created by your sponsors, valuing ProSocial activation programs that they conduct in conjunction with their partnership. Example: for Tesco’s sponsorship of Homeless World Cup in the UK, we valued its in-store promotions that raised funds for homelessness and educated shoppers about the issue as well as the retailer’s employee volunteer program that included serving meals to homeless men, women and children. These initiatives were discretionary. Tesco could have simply written a check. However, value is amplified when partners put additional assets behind a cause. The ProSocial Valuation Service, which measures and communicates this value, is a powerful incentive for brands to put additional assets to work for your cause.

PSV gives public champions the evidence they need to justify services and support.

For commercial partners, sponsors and CSR Executives, the ProSocial Valuation Service opens the black box on social good, delivering the data to guide investments in social innovation and making your organization a more powerful social actor.

Social Good is too powerful an asset to go unmeasured. It can win the hearts and wallets of customers, suppliers, employees, regulators and influencers.

The direct cause-and-effect relationship between brands and businesses that deliver both great value and great values means businesses can no longer afford quiet confidence about the social capital they create. To leverage good, you need to demonstrate it.

This is especially important to younger customers who want alignment between their socially-constructed selves and the companies they buy from, work for and recommend.

A ProSocial Valuation, which differentiates green companies and practices from green-washers, enables your organization to get credit for all the good you’re doing.

For funders—foundations, trusts, strategic philanthropists and impact investors—there is both an economic and moral imperative for using the ProSocial Valuation Service’s data driven, evidence-based analytics.

With increasing needs, it’s never been more urgent to know where to invest time, money and other resources—and to know where dollars will have the greatest return.

The ProSocial Valuation Service, which measures the correlation between a given intervention and a specific impact, provides funders with an informed basis for decision making. No need to rely on instinct or bias.

And ProSocial’s ability to value good of all types enables apples-to-apples comparisons. Until now, environmental impact was the only type of social capital being measured. While a step in the right direction, it does not suffice for funders or investors needing a complete picture.

The ProSocial Valuation Service also fills a void for those in the public sector. Moneyball for Government noted that less than one percent of government spending is backed by evidence of its effectiveness. Today, when a community is asked to spend tens of millions of dollars, they can assess the opportunity with clear expectation of what will be returned in terms of benefits to civil society.

When funders make decisions based on outcomes—on strategy rather than sympathy—everyone wins. Because whatever sector you represent, steering resources to the most effective programs is in the best interest of society and the planet.

The concept of measuring non-financial types of capital is not new. French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu introduced the notion of cultural capital and human capital in the mid 80s. And, Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone, published in 1995, brought the concept of social capital to a broad American audience.
In 1997 the World Bank started a Social Capital Initiative and in 1999 published the anthology ‘Social Capital – a Multifaceted Perspective’. Among the authors were three future Nobel laureates: Amartya Sen (1998), Joseph Stiglitz (2001) and Elinor Ostrom (2009).

What PSV brings to the table is the answer to the question: “where to invest to do the most good.”

Philanthropy has been held back by gaps in data and a shortage of information on the true sources of reliable value creation by a program, organization or initiative over time. PSV fills this gap. Our next-generation approach to measuring, valuing and reporting brings together material information about an organization’s performance across all relevant capitals—community, civic, human and natural capital.