What We Do, Why We Do It

We use a single universal currency, measuring
impact while introducing transparency.

Photo: Jonathan Davies

The ProSocial Valuation Service (PSV) values ROI from philanthropic investments with the same rigor used to measure financial returns.

We value what has long been considered unmeasurable, social capital, a term we use broadly to refer to all types of public goods that benefit people and planet—things like species preservation, community cohesion and poverty reduction. While not traded on a commercial marketplace so there are no “prices” for these goods, such social capital is the currency that shapes the well-being of individuals, neighborhoods and nations.

Combining the power of big data with the specificity of evidence-based primary research in which there is a proven correlation between a given intervention and a specific impact, PSV measures outcomes (not mere outputs). Accounting for positive, negative and independently occurring outcomes, PSV mathematically translates each unit of social capital into a dollar value based on income or savings to the public and/or benefits to individuals or society.

PSV delivers an accurate read on the amount of social capital created, a cost/benefit ratio (example, 1:3 indicates an investment of $1 delivers $3 of social capital) and, powered by PSV’s normative database, how one initiative compares to other similar programs.

PSV has been used to value community effects in areas as diverse as health, education, homelessness, community redevelopment, clean water and social inclusion. Our mathematical grounding, use of outcome-based primary research and complete transparency—we are explicit about what is valued, the value assigned and the research supporting the calculations—resonates equally with foundations and trusts, strategic philanthropists, brands, governments, volunteers and impact investors as well as nonprofits, NGOs and social enterprises

PSV also audits the activation programs of sponsors and values any elements with prosocial overlays. Until now, it was impossible to know who was greenwashing and what the144-page ESG report really means.

PSV is:

Agnostic. From cultural heritage to homelessness, we value social capital of all types.

Transparent. We are explicit about what is valued, the value assigned and how we reach our conclusions.

Data-driven. Each assignment of value is supported by primary research.

Universal. PSV introduces a universally understood unit of impact for measuring social capital, enabling comparisons across categories and initiatives.

Actionable. More than a tool for justification, PSV leads to improvements in effectiveness and efficiencies.

 

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