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New Frontiers of PhilanthropyA Guide to the New Tools and New Actors that Are Reshaping Global Philanthropy and Social Investing$
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Lester M. Salamon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199357543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199357543.001.0001

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The Elusive Quest for Impact: The Evolving Practice of Social-Impact Measurement

The Elusive Quest for Impact: The Evolving Practice of Social-Impact Measurement

Chapter:
(p.583) Chapter 22 The Elusive Quest for Impact: The Evolving Practice of Social-Impact Measurement
Source:
New Frontiers of Philanthropy
Author(s):

Brian Trelstad

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199357543.003.0022

This chapter discusses the evolution of the practice of assessing performance and social impact in venture philanthropy and the emerging field of social-impact investing. The chapter profiles the evolution of assessment tools, from cost-benefit analysis to social return on investment (SROI) calculations, to more recent efforts to aggregate and benchmark performance data and to use more rigorous randomized control trials. It concludes with some of the questions facing practitioners about the cost to measure programs, and what standards of evidence are needed when philanthropic preference among donors may be more responsible for how capital is allocated than evidence of impact.

Keywords:   impact assessment, metrics, cost-benefit analysis, randomized control trials, B-Lab, constituent voice

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