Social Return on Investment: A Case Study of a Community NGO in Sydney
The paper evaluates the social return on investment for a non-government organisation (i.e. Daystar Foundation) working with children in South-western Sydney. In particular, the study analyses the return on investment (and/or benefits) of the provision of breakfast to school-aged children (i.e. Breakfast Club). Daystar Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that develops in-school education programs to assist children at risk of not fulfilling their educational potential. There are six programs (including the Breakfast Club) implemented alongside nine schools in Sydney’s Southwest. Due to the non-monetary nature of benefits (and costs), the concept of measuring the return on investment which incorporates a social component integrated into the analysis called the social return on investment or SROI is employed. It is a relatively young concept, which gained steam in 2001. The study calculated the return on investment for Daystar to be between $2 and $9, which is comparable to the study conducted by the Canadian Institute of Child Research. Conservatively speaking, this suggests that the social return on any investment outlay to the Breakfast Club program is at least doubled in terms of benefits to society as a whole.
Varua, M. E., & Stenberg, L. C. (2009). Social return on investment: A case study of a community NGO in Sydney. Paper presented at the 2009 Sustainability Research Node Symposium, Sustainability: Dimensions and Intersections. Crown Plaza Hotel Parramatta NSW, October 30.
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