Diverse group of happy volunteers holding hands outdoors

Social value – A principles-based framework to maximise impact

Published: 09/01/23 | Categories: Information & support,Training & events, Author: Eleri Lloyd

Ahead of our joint event, Eleri Lloyd, Social Value Manager at Mantell Gwynedd tells us why measuring social value is so important and the support that’s available.

Social value is not new, but when compared to financial accounting, social accounting is very much a new born next to the mature, well-established world of finance. We are all required to submit our annual accounts every year and will keep an eager eye on our incomings and outgoings and compare these to our monthly budget.

Waiting 12 months to measure our financial performance would be deemed far too risky within an organisation. Yet, when it comes to data about changes to people’s lives, we will often forget about this until it’s time to write another grant application or we need some information for our annual report, and we risk not being able to maximise impact.

SOCIAL VALUE CYMRU

Social Value Cymru is a Social Value Partner with Social Value UK and we share their vision of ‘Changing the way the world accounts for value’. Similar to financial accounting, social value is built on a framework of principles, and these are principles that we should all adhere to when making decisions that will help to reduce inequality, reduce environmental harm and improve people’s well-being.

Social Value Cymru is based within Mantell Gwynedd, and as a County Voluntary Council, a question we have been asked is – ‘well we work in the voluntary sector and therefore everything we do is creating social value, so why do I need to invest time and resources in measuring impact?’

That might well be true, but how do we know? Have we asked the people that we work with what difference we’ve made in their lives? Can we demonstrate the difference we’ve made to both internal and external stakeholders? Do we have the information available that can help us to plan and make decisions based on what is important for the people that we work with?

DEMONSTRATING THE DIFFERENCE WE’RE MAKING

Investing time and resources in measuring and managing social value can not only help to confirm that we are indeed creating positive changes in people’s lives, but will also help us to demonstrate and communicate these changes to stakeholders. Most importantly it will help us to maximise the impact on people’s lives and ensure we are accountable for all of the changes as a result of our activities.

In Wales, it can also help us to demonstrate how we are contributing towards our well-being goals.

HOW WE CAN HELP YOU

Social Value Cymru provides social value support, advice and consultancy services to third sector organisations. Using our expertise and experience we can provide you with a range of services that allows social value information to help you to make even more positive changes for people and the environment, strengthen your governance and assist funding applications.

We have successfully worked with various social businesses and charities to demonstrate their social value, including Barnardo’s, Stepping Stones, The Outdoor Partnership, GISDA and CAIS. We also provide training to suit various requirements and have worked closely with other County Voluntary Councils and public bodies in North Wales and beyond.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOCIAL VALUE

We know that by working with stakeholders we are able to understand how activities create impacts on people’s lives and organisations.

Employing the Principles of Social Value means that we can value these impacts, and by doing so we have helped organisations to better understand, communicate and manage the social value of their work.

If you’d like to find out more about social value and how it can help you unlock the potential of the legislative framework in Wales, then why not join the event organised by Social Value UK on 23 January 2023 to explore what social value means for the sector across the four nations:

Social Value – Lever for Change or Lost Opportunity?

Monday 23 January 2023, 1 pm

You can contact Social Value Cymru by emailing eleri@mantellgwynedd.com.