Low Cost Assessments

SMI feels that the costs paid to obtain useful SROI estimates can vary so studies inform donation and service delivery decisions with appropriate levels of credibility.  At present, most funders and suppliers of social results have only two options:

  • Get virtually no information about program benefits per cost, or SROIs, (for free) OR
  • Get information that has quite high accuracy and credibility at quite high cost

SMI champions and provides options to obtain information that is reasonably accurate depending on clients’ needs, ranging from 50% to 80% accuracy, for example, but at very low cost.  Our considerable experience performing more than a hundred SROIs enables us to do this.

We also provide options to increase accuracy at increasing cost.  In many cases, these accuracy improvement options are not cost effective since we focus on cases where our proposed approach is sufficient for most decisions.

In specific, if a project has a high SROI whose credible lower bound is dominant (e.g., $10 for the poor for every $1 donated) relative to other giving options (where, say, a 2:1 SROI ratio is likely), it is unwise to invest funds in improving the accuracy or credibility of the SROI estimate for most decisions.  On the other hand, if a decision must be made between two programs with very similar or unknown SROIs (as is often the case with large-scale publicly funded social service programs), investments in a highly credible cost-benefit studies are often justified.