Measuring social value: A blueprint for business success

In today's increasingly interconnected world, the success of a business is no longer solely defined by profit margins and market share.

Measuring social value: A blueprint for business success

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, the success of a business is no longer solely defined by profit margins and market share. The value that a business creates for society, often referred to as social value, has become a critical measure of its impact and sustainability.

As businesses strive to be more socially responsible, it is imperative to not only create social value but also measure it effectively. At Vodafone we have helped more than two million people and businesses cross the digital divide, by providing free connectivity, devices and digital training through our everyone.connected initiative – delivering the equivalent of £146 million* in social value across the UK.

Implementing a social value strategy need not be an arduous task and the benefits can provide a significant positive impact for your business. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the strategies you can employ to measure your own social value accurately and make data-driven decisions that benefit both your bottom line and society at large.

Understanding social value measurement

Social value measurement is the process of quantifying the positive impact a business has on society. While it may sound challenging, it’s an essential tool for assessing whether your corporate social responsibility efforts are achieving their intended results.

Here are some key aspects of social value measurement:

Defining outcomes

The first step is to identify the specific outcomes you want to measure. This could be reductions in carbon emissions, increased access to education, improved community health, or any other social benefit your business aims to achieve.

Data collection

Accurate measurement requires data collection. This can include both quantitative data, such as metrics and financial figures, and qualitative data, like case studies, testimonials, and narratives.


Assign a value to the social outcomes. This can be in monetary terms or other quantifiable units, allowing for comparisons and assessments.

Impact assessment

Assess the overall impact of your business activities on society by comparing the outcomes against a baseline or benchmark, providing you with a better understanding of whether your initiatives are making a difference.

Continuous improvement

Use the insights from measurement to refine your strategies, address weaknesses, and amplify your positive impact.

Practical strategies for social value measurement

What steps could you be taking to implement social value into your business?

Identify key performance indicators (KPIs)

Start by defining KPIs that align with your social goals. These should be specific, measurable, and time-bound, allowing you to track your progress.

Stakeholder engagement

Engage with your stakeholders, including customers, employees, and community members, to understand their perceptions of your social impact and gather valuable feedback.

Data analytics

Leverage data analytics tools to process and analyse the data you collect. Advanced technology can help you gain useful insights into trends and correlations.

Standardised metrics

Consider using established frameworks like the Social Return on Investment (SROI) or the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to ensure consistency and comparability in your measurements.


Compare your social value performance with industry peers or sector benchmarks to understand your relative standing and identify areas for improvement.

Narrative reporting

Don’t just rely on numbers. Share success stories, case studies, and narratives that showcase the human impact of your initiatives. This can help build trust and empathy among stakeholders.

Effective social value measurement reaps rewards

With an effective social value measurement system in place, your business can benefit from improved decision-making, increased transparency, enhanced accountability, better resource allocation, strengthened stakeholder relationships, and the ability to demonstrate and communicate the positive impact of social initiatives.

By adopting best practices in social value measurement and ensuring that the growth of your business does not come at the detriment of your local community or the wider planet, businesses can achieve a win-win scenario where they not only thrive but also contribute significantly to a better, more sustainable world.


Connectivity: £90 value per SIM
Devices: £17 per device for data wiping and logistics
SMEs supported: 1hr of business expert time (£101 proxy) per business
Social tariffs: £10 savings per customer compared to equivalent broadband tariff, £25 saving per customer compared to equivalent VOXI For Now mobile tariff 

Calculations have been shared and approved by the Social Value Portal©

Claire Harris
Claire Harris

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