Share

Could personalisation be a way of quantifying social impact?

Could personalisation be a way of quantifying social impact?
Blogs

Could personalisation be a way of quantifying social impact?1

Finance | Vibeka Mair | 18 Nov 2009

Last week, Bridges Ventures announced its very first investment into Call Britannia. The financial bible FT covered the news enthusiastically and positively, but it also described social investment overall as “notoriously woolly”.

And of course it is compared with the hard facts of numbers. But like law, a discipline which relies on careful interpretation and precedents, social investment can develop an understandable measure for proving social value, although it won’t be as clear-cut as making a profit.

Money talks, but love can move mountains. I attended Rathbone's Green Dragons Den last week where five keen social entrepreneurs made their case to an audience of investors who would invest in their favourite idea with “Rathbone dollars”. Pitches ranged from environmental technologies to microfinance loan initiatives.

Social Impact Bonds, developed by Social Finance, received the highest investment of £15m. This didn’t surprise me - the idea is to raise investment to fund preventative programmes, investors receive returns from government on the basis of improved social outcomes, such as reduced reoffending.

Speaking to people shortly after the pitches, it was clear the idea of using investment to improve society was compelling. Some didn’t fully understand how it would work, but it had certainly captured the imagination.

And this week, Acevo has ramped up the call for personalisation, releasing an interim report from the Commission on Personalisation.

It has called the drive to give service users control of where money for their care is spent - a social market revolution.

And that it could be. The positives of personalisation oft repeated include empowerment for service users, and greater accountability for providers.

But another positive aspect is this could become a true indicator of social value. We can never measure 100 per cent how people feel, but we can quantify how people spend.

Could charities use this as a way of demonstrating their social value? If more service users chose them over others as the culture of personalisation spread – could this be used to show investors social impact in their favourite language - numbers?

John Woodruff
Treasurer
Independent Options (Stockport) Ltd
19 Nov 2009

The views expressed here are mine personally and not those of the Trustees or Management of Independent Options (Stockport) Ltd.

I wholheartedly agree with the proposition that personalisation, coupled with putting the money to purchase services into the hands of users, is an excellent way of measuring the social value of providers. One big barrier, however, is the reluctance on the part of certain local authorities to let go of the purse strings because it takes away their power and runs against their belief that "nanny state" knows best. If Central Government could place more pressure on Local Councils to, for example, implement individual budgets faster by setting aggressive targets and policing them, then this would go a long way to achieving what all of us in the third sector want: namely, efficiently delivered services that users and their families actually want.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Ian Allsop (62) John Tate (55) David Davison (49) Robert Ashton (41) Tania Mason (24) Andrew Hind CB (18) Gordon Hunter (17) Daniel Phelan (14) Vibeka Mair (12) David Ainsworth (12)
David Philpott (10) Celina Ribeiro (8) Niki May Young (8) Rui Domingues (8) Andrew Chaggar (5) James Brooke Turner (4) Sir Stuart Etherington (4) Kate Sayer (3) Jeremy Swain (3) Garreth Spillane (3) Alistair Gibbons (3) Ian Clark (3) Claris D'cruz (2) Stephen Lloyd (2) Richard Maitland (2) Adrian Beney (2) Iain Pritchard (2) Pauline Broomhead (2) Daniel Fletcher (2) Martin Brookes (2) Tesse Akpeki (2) Nick Brooks (2) Stephen Hammersley (2) June O'Sullivan (2) Dan Corry (2) Peter Holbrook (2) Belinda Pratten (2) Simon Steeden (2) Jonathan Bruck (2) Dan Gregory (2) Mark Astarita (1) Don Bawtree (1) Sir Stephen Bubb (1) Victoria Cook (1) Lindsay Gray (1) Rachel Holmes (1) Nick Ivey (1) Iona Joy (1) John Kelly (1) Michael King (1) Heather Lamont (1) Lucy McLynn (1) Chris Oulton (1) Julian Rathbone (1) Socrates Socratous (1) Richard Weaver (1) Karl Wilding (1) Richard Williams (1) Roger Chester (1) Matthew Bowcock (1) Joe Saxton (1) Reuben Turner (1) Martin Farrell (1) Paul Gibson (1) Jonathon Grapsas (1) Andrew Scadding (1) Simon Hebditch (1) Su Sayer (1) Debra Allcock Tyler (1) Martin Birch (1) Mark Hallam (1) Jonathan Lewis (1) Sara Llewellin (1) John Low (1) Dame Mary Marsh (1) Ruth Murphy (1) Colin Nee (1) Julia Unwin (1) Kate Rogers (1) Malcolm Hayday (1) Filippo Addarii (1) Kimberley Scharf (1) Jakes Ferguson (1) Jessica Sklair (1) Joe Turner (1) John May (1) Julian Blake (1) Rosie Chapman (1) Andy Williamson (1) Malcolm Hurlston (1) Andrew Samuel (1) Chester Mojay-Sinclare (1) Paul Amadi (1) Kirsty Weakley (1) Luke Fletcher (1) Peter Mitchell (1) Billy Dove (1) Andrew Ketteringham (1) Jackie Turpin (1) Lynne Robb (1) Jonathan Crown (1) Paul Emery (1) Ruchir Shah (1) Pesh Framjee (1) Sukhvinder Kaur-Stubbs (1) Moira Protani (1) Vicki Prout (1) Michael O'Toole (1) Dawn Austwick (1) Lisa Clavering (1) Paul Farmer (1) Neelam Makhijani (1) Logan Anderson (1) Andy Rich (1) Sharon Martin (1) Asheem Singh (1) Leigh Daynes (1) Abdurahman Sharif (1) Lynne McMahon (1) Richard Caulfield (1) Carolyn Sims (1) Making Good: The Future of the Voluntary Sector (1)
Less +++ More +++

Learning from history

3 Oct 2014

With the emergence of the cloud, the number of accounting software options is growing fast – just as...

Blending youth and experience

10 Sep 2014

Finance leaders need help from the younger generation to understand modern technology, says John Tate....

Why I didn’t accept an ice bucket challenge

1 Sep 2014

With one survey out last week indicating that more than half of the people taking part in the #icebucketchallenge...

Councils need to stop trying to control everything and respect the community sector’s independence

23 Oct 2014

Richard Bridge examines the relationships between local authorities and community groups. This article...

Civil society organisations across Europe are seeing their independence come under threat

20 Oct 2014

Voluntary organisations across Europe are coming under pressure from governments not to campaign on issues,...

Focus on ‘independence’ should not distract us from the fact that charities should deliver more public services

15 Oct 2014

Sir Stephen Bubb says that the voluntary sector needs to be at the heart of designing and delivering public...