Where can I find financial proxies?

Image - Where can I find financial proxies?

You asked, so I’ll answer – Where can I find financial proxies (values) for Social Return on Investment (SROI) calculations?

If you are producing a Social Return on Investment (SROI) report you will need to find financial proxies to assign values to the outcomes you achieve, in order to calculate your social impact and provide a monetary value for every £1 you spend on that service (or activity or project).

If you would like to do this, sources of financial proxies (values) for various changes are available from:

New Economy Manchester Unit cost database
This database has a range of financial proxies, including for employment, education, health, crime, housing and social services. The financial values are broken down between the economic and social value. They also show the fiscal savings to statutory agencies separately, as well as providing links to all the sources of the financial proxies. Click here for the database (excel spreadsheet).

NHS Reference Costs
The NHS reference costs detail the cost of every service the NHS provides. This is updated annually. For the 2015-16 reference costs click here and then select the National schedule of reference costs: main schedule – which is an excel spreadsheet.

PSSRU (Personal Social Services Research Unit) Unit costs of Health and Social Care
This includes the unit costs of a range of social services – which are broken down in to local authority areas. This is updated annually. For the 2016 costs click here. You can then download the complete document or sections.

Global Value Exchange
This is an online database where you can enter search terms and see what financial proxies are available or have been used by other organisations, as well as searching for outcomes and indicators. Some of the proxies are approved and verified, but the database provides information on the circumstances (for example the type of beneficiary) in which the proxy was used so you can see if it is suitable for your SROI calculations. Global Value Exchange

HACT Value calculator
The HACT (Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust) is a database of financial proxies for a range of community focused activities – primarily those which Housing Associations would undertake. The values are broken down by beneficiary age and also for London/outside of London. If your organisation’s income is over £300,000 then you need to purchase a licence to use these values. For organisations with income below that level it is free to access. Click here to access.

Big Lottery Fund – Wellbeing Programme – A guide to Social Return on Investment
This is a guide to measuring wellbeing – and contains some links to financial proxies and other resources. Click here to access the guide.

In addition to the above resources, if you are looking at wellbeing and health, then you could also used quality adjusted life years (QALYS) in order to help with valuing outcomes. An example of how this can be done is available from NICE’s report on Judging the Cost Effectiveness of Public Health Activities.

You can also search other organisations’ reports to see the values they have used via Social Value UK and Social Audit Network.