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Accounting for social return on investment (SROI): The costs and benefits of family-centred care by the Ronald McDonald House Charities

Marco Bellucci (Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Carmela Nitti (ARCO Action Research for CO-development, Prato, Italy)
Serena Franchi (ARCO Action Research for CO-development, Prato, Italy and Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
Enrico Testi (Yunus Social Business Centre – University of Florence, Prato, Italy and ARCO Action Research for CO-development, Prato, Italy)
Luca Bagnoli (Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 25 October 2018

Issue publication date: 25 January 2019

1207

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the effectiveness of social return on investment (SROI) as a measure of the social impact produced by non-profit organisations and social enterprises that support family-centred care, an approach that focuses on the pivotal role of families in paediatric health care.

Design/methodology/approach

The study offers an analytical evaluation of the SROI created by the Italian branch of the Ronald McDonald House Charities and highlights (a) the participatory analysis of stakeholders and outcomes; (b) the measurement of inputs; (c) the definition of outputs and proxies for the measurement of outcomes; (d) the calculation of the SROI ratio; and (e) the results of a sensitivity analysis.

Findings

This study discusses the advantages and shortcomings of SROI analyses, the practical implications of this research on governance and management and the role of engagement in managing the expectations of stakeholders. The value of SROI measurements in shaping strategic and management decisions – with special emphasis on stakeholder relations – is also discussed.

Originality/value

Non-profit organisations and social enterprises often require tools that assess the outcomes of their activities. The present research can provide new guidance to SROI analysts, while drawing attention to the most suitable proxies and indicators for evaluating the SROI of organisations operating in the health care sector.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the staff at Ronald McDonald House Charities Italy. We are also thankful to the staff at the various paediatric hospitals that took part in this study—most notably the Children’s Hospital of Brescia, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome, and Meyer Children’s Hospital of Florence. Their professionalism and willingness to support our work was above reproach. Last but not least, we are grateful to all the families who shared their stories with us.

Citation

Bellucci, M., Nitti, C., Franchi, S., Testi, E. and Bagnoli, L. (2019), "Accounting for social return on investment (SROI): The costs and benefits of family-centred care by the Ronald McDonald House Charities", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 46-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/SEJ-05-2018-0044

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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