What is Social Value and Why is it Important?

What is social value?

Social value can be defined as the additional benefit organisations provide to not only themselves, but also to society and the economy. This process reaches further than the direct purchasing of goods, services and outcomes, and instead, focuses on how organisations can secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits.

Why is it important?

Recent proposals announced by The Cabinet Office have focused on extending The Social Value Act 2012 for central government procurements. This includes prioritising social value in new ways, rather than just value for money. These priorities include:

  • Reducing environmental impact
  • Helping access for businesses owned by under-represented groups
  • Helping access for small businesses
  • Increased representation of disabled people in the workforce

With these current changes being made to The Social Value Act 2012, there is no better time to learn how to effectively embed social value within your organisation.

Three key ways to effectively add social value to your organisation:

  1. Know the difference you want to achieve

It is highly important that organisations firstly have set goals in place, identifying exactly what difference they want to make in their local community.

  1. Communication is key

Organisations who have achieved effective social value are those who have previously created long-term partnerships with different sectors. It is essential as an organisation to consult with the local community such as residents, MPs and local government representatives.

  1. Show off your results

Organisations must clearly show the benefits they have achieved through adding social value. Knowing how to effectively measure social value is an invaluable tool, however, can be challenging to know which scales and measurements fit in with your sector.

What are the challenges of measuring social value?

With social value only applying to services rather than goods, knowing how to effectively measure and compare your organisation’s social value to another’s can be challenging. Organisations, governments and investors all have a different understanding of how they want social change to happen, so learning how to successfully translate the change that you have captured is where this challenge lies. To achieve this, measurement needs to be tailored to the specific organisation.

Want to find out more about how to effectively measure social value in your organisation?

Attend one of our ‘Effectively Define and Measure Social Value’ courses, to listen to the founder of the UK’S only Social Value Quality Mark, Richard Dickins. Learn how to effectively demonstrate your organisation’s social value contribution.

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