Mapping outcomes for social investment

Social investment presents the promise of financial returns combined with social impact. But in contrast to standardised and well-accepted ways of measuring financial returns, the measurement of social impact has remained fragmented and standardisation an elusive goal.

Big Society Capital commissioned a team comprising NPC, the SROI Network and Investing for Good to develop a new suite of tools to help social investors, and those seeking social investment, to embed a robust approach to impact in their work.

The tools presented here are:

  • An outcomes matrix, which segments outcomes within the social welfare and environment arenas into 13 outcome areas.
  • Outcomes maps, which drill into the detail of the outcomes matrix, providing overviews of the key outcomes, indicators and data sources commonly used in each of the 13 areas.
  • Guidance on investor best practice is also available here.

The outcomes matrix and outcomes maps are not intended to be exhaustive—rather they represent a first attempt to map the territory in each area. They are also not meant to be prescriptive, but rather to support social investors and potential investees in thinking through the structure of their impact approach.

  1. Housing and essential needs
  2. Education and learning
  3. Employment and training
  4. Physical health
  5. Substance use and addiction
  6. Mental health
  7. Personal and social well-being
  8. Politics, influence and participation
  9. Finance and legal matters
  10. Arts and culture
  11. Crime and public safety
  12. Local area and getting around
  13. Conservation of the natural environment and climate change

You can also access and comment on this content in wikiVOIS, a database containing all the outcomes and indicators covered here, as well as others uploaded by users.

We aim for these outcomes maps to be living documents, which will be revised based on further research and feedback in future. Please contact Tris Lumley with your feedback and suggestions.

Outcomes Matrix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.