Starting out on Social Return on Investment (SROI)

This guide, created by Social Value UK (formerly SROI Network) in collaboration with Hall Aitken, is aimed at providing guidance to those who have never used SROI on where to begin. The guide provides practical steps to beginning the process of SROI and includes links to tools aimed at supporting its implementation.


"Most public, private and third sector organisations have a pretty good idea of the costs of what they do. Annual accounts, management accounts, budget reports and a whole accountancy profession add up to a great deal of effort to make sure this is the case.

Some organisations are quite good at counting what they do with these resources. They can track the number of users or contacts, or customers. Many can provide some evidence that these activities lead to some sort of change. But very few can explain clearly why all this matters. What would happen if they did not exist? What is the real value of what they do?

Social Return on Investment sets out to redress the balance by looking at value not just cost."


  • Part one – why, what and how?
    • Why does social value matter?
    • What is SROI?
    • How do I do SROI?
    • Next steps
  • Part two – progress tool
  • Part three – practical next steps
    • Steps to involve stakeholders
    • Steps to understand what changes
    • Steps to value the things that matter
    • Steps to only include what is material
    • Steps to avoid overclaiming
    • Steps to be transparent
    • Steps to verify the result


SROI Network and Hall Aitken (2014), Starting out on Social Return on Investment, Retrieved from: (archived link)

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Jordi Pardo

Nice! Very good. Congratulations. Simple, clear, useful.

Best wishes from Barcelona

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