Designing Value-Driven Approaches to Funding and Operating Programs

We offer to work with funders* and suppliers** to research best methods and programs for addressing particular needs of the poor.  Then we design monitoring and evaluation plans and other mechanisms to obtain information about the effectiveness of those methods or programs, relative to costs and risks and to improve the value of results over time.

While many organizations offer similar services, we specialize in helping organizations design tools that have appropriate cost-to-accuracy levels for their needs and funds. We bring decades of experience to this task and offer to do much of this work for free or at a very low cost.

Some of the products we have developed as models for consideration to date include:

  • An SROI Guarantee, which promises to redirect a donation to another charity of the funder’s choosing if the original recipient fails to obtain a minimum benefits-per-cost ratio on its program, as measured by a third party.
  • Incentive contracts for beneficiaries to report back on the impact of services they received a year after services were termination.
  • Incentive contracts for suppliers to track and optimize the value they create for clients relative to cost.
  • A quantified statement of objectives and a quantified scorecard for a foundation.
  • Estimates of the (‘market capitalization’ equivalent) value of a charity to its beneficiaries based on risk and value considerations.
  • Value-driven fundraising communications highlighting past SROIs and committing to report back on future SROIs.
  • The construction of a program explicitly designed to be SROI driven and to achieve exceptional SROIs for some most vulnerable people groups.
  • Identification of low-risk and very high social return investments, including funding strategic reserves for a client’s high SROI program, to ensure its continued viability, and a life-insurance policy for an exceptional executive director and program manager.
  • Comprehensive allocation of total benefits created by a charitable program among all individual project contributors using standard economics and business practice guidelines.
  • A product that will provide market assessments of program risks as they emerge is being designed.


* SMI offers to work with private and public sector funders, including foundations, government agencies, impact investors and other socially-minded investors and other donors

* SMI's approach to measuring and using SROIs is designed for suppliers of most human assistance results, including charities, social enterprises, recipients of impact investment, CSR programs and other suppliers of beneficial results for the poor, including the poor themselves