Abstract: The paper attempts to evaluate the social return on investment (SROI) for a non-government organisation working with children in south-western Sydney. Daystar Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that develops in-school education programmes to assist children at risk of not fulfilling their educational potential. Due to the non-monetary nature of benefits (and costs), SROI is employed, which is similar to evaluating the (financial) return on investment, however a social component is integrated into the analysis. It is a relatively new concept, developed at the Harvard Business School for the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund in 2000. The present study calculated the social return on investment for Daystar to be between $2 and $9. Conservatively speaking, this suggests that the social return on any investment outlay to the Breakfast Club program is at least doubled, in terms of its benefits to society as a whole. However, a lack of data proved to be a problem, and this is likely to be widespread within non-government organisations. Either researchers need to be prepared to construct primary data for non-for-profit organisations, especially smaller ones, or there needs to be a system of assisting NGOs in the preparation of data that can be useful in future SROI evaluations.
To cite this article: Stenberg, Luz Centeno and Varua, Maria Estela. Social return on investment: A community NGO in southwestern Sydney [online]. Third Sector Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2013: 147-170.
[cited 23 May 17].