Measuring the impact of social investment on an organisation’s resilience and growth


Written by

Gabriel Ng, Investment Director

Introducing the measurement framework

Towards the end of last year, we shared our ‘enterprise-level impact framework’, with the hope that it would allow us to better understand and articulate how investment impacts an organisation.

We consider "enterprise level impact" to be the impact that an investment has on the enterprise itself, rather than on its end users. As such it is not a replacement to understanding the ultimate impact on people, but a complement. The framework breaks this impact down into its different sub-components: Firstly, the purpose of the investment (why an organisation takes on investment) and the use of financial proceeds (how the investment is being used); and secondly and subsequently the impact of the investment on the enterprise's resilience and growth of its impact.

Together with Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, we ran a pilot with five fund managers, Key Fund, GMCVO, Northstar Ventures, Big Issue Invest, and Social Investment Scotland, to test this methodology. We analysed purpose of investment and use of proceeds data from the fund managers, survey data from their borrowers, and publicly available financial data.

The pilot found that borrowers on average reported strong resilience and impact growth, and generally attributed that growth to social investment. This was borne out by positive trends in borrower’s financials. We also found our methodology to be very useful in providing a clear, standardised snapshot of our portfolio and most importantly we learnt that our partners saw real value in the enterprise-level impact framework. Often, our findings weren’t surprising to them, but the framework helped them articulate what they had already known for a long time. You can read more about the pilot in the following blog,

Gathering information for the framework

We are now pleased to announce that the framework has been tested and is ready for use across the sector – and we want to hear from you!

We hope that the framework will ultimately support improved decision-making on our part and better practice and performance for the sector as a whole over time – ultimately leading to more impact. We also plan to publish data aggregated across our portfolio and from our partners to serve as a public resource.

Here’s how you can get involved:

If you have invested in charities and social enterprises and are not currently one of our fund managers (as we will be reaching out separately), we are keen to hear from you. Below is a summary of you would need to do:

  1. Share your enterprise-level data (previously known as deal-level data) for each investment’s primary and secondary purpose and use of proceeds; this will also include the investee’s company and/or charity number and the year of your initial investment, which allows us to locate their public financial records.
  2. Send the survey to your clients to measure the effects which investment has had on their operations annually.
  3. Ask your investment or relationship managers to fill in a survey about their clients, so that we can cross reference their views against those of the investees.

Get in touch

Get in touch for a copy of the survey and details of how to share your enterprise-level data.

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