It is a commonly accepted fact in business that social projects bring some tangible benefits to an organization. Unfortunately, even if the project is very successful this often does not impact directly on the financial bottom line. And, in a world of razor-thin margins, a set of activities that drive up corporate cost without any directly identifiable return is a tough sell, no matter how worthwhile and noble the project might be.
The business case for social projects is therefore contingent on finding a suitable method for valuation — one that allows managers to understand the implications of an indirect benefit and then make 'intelligent' decisions about which projects to choose and the most feasible level of resources to commit
So how should we deal with the problem of measuring the value of a social project?
This work starts from the premise that the value of a social project actually is measurable and that the reason it seems difficult is caused by a misunderstanding of what is actually being measured. Terms like goodwill or strategic alignment only seem to be immeasurable because they are ambiguously defined. This work will attempt to remove this type ambiguity by focusing on definitions that can be expressed in units of measurement. Once this is done a range of economic implements can then be used as tools in the decision making process