Measuring Social Value
Posted on 25 February 2021

How Does Precede Capital Measure Social Value?

Precede Capital considers its activities holistically, taking account of the wider economic, social and environmental effects of its actions.

Social Value serves as an umbrella term for these broader effects. We have committed to making a conscious effort to ensure that these effects are positive, by aiming to add Social Value through contributing to the long-term wellbeing and resilience of individuals, communities and society in general through the projects we finance.

Social Value measurement is becoming increasingly standardised. The National Social Value Measurement Framework, National TOMs for short (TOMs stands for “Themes, Outcomes and Measures”) was developed by the Social Value Portal, an online platform launched in 2017. Precede Capital has partnered with Social Value Portal to adopt their methodology. The platform provides an easy-to-use solution for Precede Capitals clients to measure their social value – from Section 106 contributions towards local infrastructure, amenities and social housing, through to new job creation and more. We hope to help our clients see first-hand the impact of their projects. Our clients can use these statistics in their marketing, reporting and disclosures and the industry as a whole can keep improving.

A key benefit of a TOMs-based social value measurement system is that it comprises a series of objectively researched standalone measures that can be extended or reduced without compromising the integrity of the framework, provided a consistent methodological approach is taken. The TOMs provide the “golden thread” between social value strategy and delivery, as follows:

Themes – the components of an organisation’s “vision” for Social Value
Outcomes – the positive changes that the organisation wants to see – in effect, what “good” looks like to that organisation
Measures – what objective indicators will be used to measure whether these outcomes are being met

The 5 Themes are:
Jobs: Promote Local Skills and Employment: To promote growth and development opportunities for all within a community and ensure that they have access to opportunities to develop new skills and gain meaningful employment.
Growth: Supporting Growth of Responsible Regional Business – To provide local businesses with the skills to compete and the opportunity to work as part of public-sector and big-business supply chains.
Social: Healthier, Safer and more Resilient Communities – To build stronger and deeper relationships with the voluntary and social enterprise sectors whilst continuing to engage and empower citizens.
Environment: Decarbonising and Safeguarding our World – To ensure the places where people live and work are cleaner and greener, to promote sustainable procurement and secure the long-term future of our planet.
Innovation: Promoting Social Innovation – To promote new ideas and find innovative solutions to old problems.

Precede Capital has worked with the Social Value Portal to align their Themes and Outcomes to the appropriate Measures. These Measures have been developed with “proxy values” which are expressed in financial terms, drawing on a wide range of data sources such as the Office for National Statistics and the Unit Cost Database. This means that the social value from the projects we finance can be expressed in financial terms, allowing comparison with the overall scale or cost of constructing the building, as well as between other projects and developers and industry sectors.

The “social value added” expressed in these financial terms is necessarily a prudent assessment and isn’t a definitive statement on social value added, because aspects of social value such as wellbeing are subjective and therefore difficult to quantify in this way. However, the TOMs framework does provide the starting point and a common language for measuring social value.

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