Impact tools | Big Society Capital
Social Impact Tools
Supporting the development of impact measurement
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Our social impact priority is to use social investment to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the UK. Impact measurement is key to helping us demonstrate how social investment can support charities and social enterprises to address social issues.

It is important for social investors to help learn about which approaches work best at creating social impact and a delivering a positive financial return. Good social impact evidence can help charities and social enterprises to improve their services, compare achievements with similar organisations and communicate the difference they are making to be able to attract further investment.

Our social impact work covers four areas which are delivering impact, building evidence, sharing learning and supporting the impact infrastructure.

Delivering Impact

We have explored how social investment can address social need across the areas in our Outcomes Matrix and in our Social Investment Insights Series. We will continue to update our evidence and actively seek further investment opportunities which address specific social issues and fill gaps in the availability of social investment.  

Our investment process assesses the potential social impact in deals through our Pre Due Diligence Screen and our Social Impact Tests which looks at key areas including mission, impact, governance and activities.

Building Evidence

We want to build evidence about the impact of social investment to grow the market and ultimately deliver positive change for vulnerable and disadvantaged people. All of our investments are required to monitor their social impact which will help us build evidence and share learning.

Our impact monitoring processes are proportionate and vary according to the type of investment. Over time, we would like to see greater transparency in the social investment market with impact information and reports available publicly so that others can learn from it.

Sharing Learning

We want to share learning across our portfolio to help highlight sustainable social business models, grow the social investment market and promote good practice.  We will actively be sharing our evidence base as it continues to grow with charities and social enterprises, investors and other stakeholders to help raise awareness about the potential of social investment to achieve social impact.

As a start, we have recently developed a bank of case studies which highlight different social investment products and approaches for addressing social issues.

Impact infrastructure

We have developed a series of resources to support social impact measurement for social investment financial intermediaries and charities and social enterprises. This includes the Outcomes Matrix which is a tool to support investors and social sector organisations with defining, assessing and measuring their social impact. We have also developed guidance for investors and social sector organisations to plan and measure their social impact. Over the next year we will continue to build on this work with partners from across sectors.

Our first Social Impact Report outlines our approach in more detail. 

Why is measuring social impact important? (By Social Investment Business)

Impact Tools Links

A free tool for charities, social enterprises and investors
Download a copy of Big Society Capital's latest report
How we assess impact when we are making investment decisions

Contact Us

Marcus Hulme

Marcus leads our social impact work. Get in touch for more information.