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Books and Guides

Since 2007, Social Ventures Australia (SVA) Consulting has completed over 400 projects with over 200 organisations across employment, education, community services, health and indigenous affairs. The SVA Consulting Quarterly brings together what they have learned from their work and the insights they have gained in new practices, novel methodologies and fresh wisdom.

This report by John Copps and Dawn Plimmer for Inspiring Impact addresses the issue of youth unemployment. It helps organisations that work with young people understand and measure the impact they have on the journey to employment.
It features the Journey to EmploymenT (JET) framework.

Event Reports

On March 26, 2003, The Goldman Sachs Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation hosted over fifty funders at Goldman Sachs offices in New York to discuss the issues surrounding assessing social impact and social return on investment (“SROI”). We were pleased with the high level of interest in this topic and the insights articulated during the day’s discussions. Our focus was on two thematic fields: education/youth development and community development/employment.
The purpose of the meeting was twofold:
- To convene a cross-section of charitable and double bottom line funders to discuss and learn from various approaches to assessing social impact and social return on investment in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors
- To begin a dialogue on developing a common set of expectations for metrics or standards that could be used in the education/youth development and community development/employment sectors to assess the social impact of philanthropic and other social purpose investments.

External Databases and Resources

More than 6400 publications have now been selected by TSRC for inclusion in the Third Sector Knowledge Portal - an easy-to-use online library of research, evidence, and analysis.

It has been developed by TSRC in partnership with the British Library and the Big Lottery Fund, and brings together over 6000 works such as: impact reports from third sector organisations; academic research projects; government studies; and more, in one collection of downloads, links and summaries.

People want to be happy. But do we know what makes us happy, or how society is best organised to promote happiness?
The Wellbeing Programme was founded in 2003 when Richard Layard gave his public lectures on “Happiness: Has social science a clue?” His book on Happiness then followed. The programme has expanded and now includes three main strands:

- Happiness and Public Policy
- Mental health
- Skills and unemployment
The Wellbeing Programme is also responsible for bringing together the members of the Mental Health Policy Group, which in June 2012 published its report How Mental Illness Loses out in the NHS, the subject of which Richard Layard discussed in his lecture “Mental Health: The New Frontier for the Welfare State”.

Impact Reports

FRC Group has been producing impact reports, social reports and sustainability reports every year since 1999. FRC Group is a leading social business, running commercial businesses that produce financial profits and create a social dividend by giving people in poverty and unemployment the opportunity to change their lives. A selection of their reports are available to download on their website.

This report from LiverpoolSU, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) ,highlights some of LiverpoolSU’s key achievements over the last year, demonstrating the impact they have had on their members both as LJMU students, and as residents of Liverpool, from January to December 2013.

NOW provides training and employment services for people of all abilities. This is a social impact infographic card for their activities from 2012 to 2013.

This is a Social Impact Report by the Timewise Foundation in partnership with nef consulting (the new economics foundation) and supported by KPMG. The TImewise Foundation’s vision is for everyone to be able to find the flexibility they need in their careers, without reducing their value in the workplace.

Calvert Foundation’s 2013 Social Impact Report explores the impact that investors, funders, supporters, portfolio partners, and advisors have empowered them to create in 2012. Calvert Foundation works at the nexus of communities and capital, meaning their impact is both the outcomes of our lending - affordable housing units built, jobs created, etc. - and the ways that they enable people to invest in the causes that inspire them.

United Way Australia’s first Community Impact Report documents their community impact in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in 2012, focusing on three priority areas for impact: education, income and health. They developed a framework for representing the varying scale, complexity and nature of their work with input from the Centre for Social Impact.


The Journey to EmploymenT (JET) framework from Inspiring Impact helps organisations that work with young people understand and measure the impact they have on the journey to employment.

The Outcomes Star from Triangle is a tool that measures and supports progress for service users towards self-reliance or other goals. There are twenty Stars, which are sector wide tools with different versions for homelessness, mental health and young people.

The outcomes matrix is a tool to help social investment financial intermediaries (SIFI’s) and social sector organisations to plan, measure and learn about their social impact. It aims to develop common ground and language for social investment and impact assessment in the social sector. The outcomes and measures are not intended to be prescriptive or exhaustive but should provide a helpful starting point for organisations to consider their social impact.

Working Papers and Research

An Independent Research Report on the Practices, Impact and Implications of Inspiring Scotland’s First Five Years authored by Gates Scholar, Noah J. Isserman, at the University of Cambridge. This report examines, in depth, the practices and methods employed by Inspiring Scotland venture philanthropy fund and it is the result of four years of research.

Stephanie Petrick from Impact in Motion, on behalf of the Social Venture Funds, analyses investment opportunities for impact investors in the integration of the long-term unemployed. This study gives a detailed insight into the situation in the UK, German, French and Swiss market.

Briefing 47: Barriers to employment from the Centre for Mental Health presents what works for people with mental health problems. Paid work is essential for the wellbeing and financial security for many of us. However, for those with mental health problems who require extra support there are numerous barriers to attaining employment. This report looks at what interventions work as well as where gaps exist in evidence-based interventions and what might be tested to develop that evidence. It includes models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) and some provided by the Work Programme and Work Choice.

This report, from Forfás and DJEI, features the research requested as part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2012 on the potential of social enterprise to create jobs and identifies the actions required, in funding, procurement, etc., by Government and other relevant bodies and agencies to create jobs in this sector.

This paper by Daniel Fujiwara from the LSE launches a national discussion on identifying the evidence needs to prove the impact of adult learning for decision making at local and national level. This piece of research flows from two pieces of NIACE work: on behalf of the Local Government Association exploring the changing strategic role of adult learning and skills in communities; and our work for the Skills Funding Agency completing Social Return on Investment (SROI) analyses with a sample of Adult and Community Learning Funding projects, in partnership with the SROI Network. Using the Well-being Valuation (WV) approach, this paper shows that adult learning adds value to many wider agendas.