3. Identifying Your Value Proposition /

3.4 Describing how you solve social problems


We can describe how our work solves social or environmental problems.

To meet the standard in full, you can explain how your work solves or might solve pressing social or environmental problems and bring positive change to the people, families and communities you serve.

All social enterprises trying to change the world. While some hope to achieve impact on a global scale, most are working towards bringing about small but important changes locally.

It is these changes for people, the economy and the environment that are central to any successful social enterprise, and therefore provide the main foundation for impact measurement and reporting.

The type of social outcomes we are referring to here arise from the things that social enterprises deliver (day care services, social transport, cultural activities, etc.). These come in addition to how they operate as a business (see section 3.3 on social responsibility).

There is an enormous range of ways that you can describe social and environmental changes. There is more information on planning your intended social impact in Section 4.

It is common to measure the social impact that organizations bring about in terms of:

  • Community vitality
  • Civic engagement
  • Education
  • Environmental improvement
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Leisure and culture
  • Living standards

Across the world governments and social sector organizations are attempting to find better ways to measure social and environmental change. The Canadian Index of Wellbeing is a great starting point, along with the Global Database of SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Indicators, the Global Value Exchange and the Social Progress Index.

You can find out more about how to communicate your social value proposition in Course 3 of the Impact Practice series, and the associated use of social impact measures in Course 5 (Using Performance Indicators).