Major Papers


SROI, Social Return, Social Impact, United Way


Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis is an outcome based approach that Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) can use to evaluate the social value created by their investments and to forecast the potential value created by those investments. It is used to demonstrate how social value can be measured using concrete indicators (monetary values). The process is sequential and formulaic – the researcher needs to follow the steps and input the applicable data before moving to the next steps. It is necessary to develop the simpler, overarching process of social impact measurement before evolving the analysis further. SROI transcends Social Impact Measurement firstly when the researcher monetizes social outcomes, representing them using financial proxies. Then, once this valuation is complete, the total value of outcomes will be calculated, the necessary discounts will be applied, and the total value of outcomes will be compared against the total value of inputs to determine if a favourable monetary return can be proved. The research has demonstrated that SROI is therefore the most comprehensive and valuable of social impact measurement methods. It is more tractable than other systems, and NGOs can isolate their outcomes or other variables in their activities to a granular level, which allows them to break down every aspect of their social programs to determine social value. This accuracy in assessing indicators and ability to monetize variables is invaluable in assessing the value of the social change that NGOs desire to create.

Primary Advisor

Dr. Jesse Ovadia


Dr. Lydia Miljan

Program Reader

Dr. Joanna Sweet

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Internship Paper