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Social Return on Investment

Social Return on Investment (first developed by REDF), has become increasingly popular within the non-profit world. This approach applies methods from the social impact tradition but using the language of rates of return. The benefit of SROI is helping stakeholders recognise all of the potential benefits a project or program might have, including wider economic benefit and social returns. There are many variants in use around the world. The European Union’s EQUAL Programme strongly encouraged use of measures to assess social and economic outcomes. For example, as part of EQUAL Finland developed an ‘SYTA method’ for assessing social enterprise activities. However, REDF and others have retreated from the original claim that SROI could create single number measures, describing them instead as processes for discussion between stakeholders.