Almost all young adults (16-27 years) who suffer from complex psychiatric problems also have a request for help in the field of independence (for example, with regard to living, working, learning and leisure or their finances).

The current Dutch health care system cannot always offer an appropriate answer. This is because there is a division between youth and adult mental health care and between therapy and living. Kwintes has therefore developed the Locus treatment program, which offers accommodation, treatment and support under one roof.

Our research shows that the Locus Program has social added value in several ways. This leads to an increase in healthy behavior, an improvement in mental well-being and an improvement in the social functioning of the Locus participant. In addition, the Locus Program provides significant cost savings for the municipality (including by shortening RIBW programs) and the health insurer (including by preventing or shortening GGZ programs).The results of this social business case are based on the expertise of the practitioners and supervisors of the Locus Program. Based on their observations and expectations, we have made a forecast of the expected social effects per Locus participant. Our report is used by Kwintes to communicate the effect and added value of the Locus Program to financiers and partners, such as referrers, other mental health care and youth institutions. In addition, having insight into the effects for the target group and the social support system is very motivating for all Locus employees.

You can read the entire report here

#socialimpact #socialenterprise #impactinvesting #sdgs #wbs #mba #sustainability #csr #thesectorinc #bradfordturner #consulting #peace #love #change #hope #toronto #fundraising #charity

Financial literacy is a vital life skill for citizenship in the 21st century. Children grow up in an increasingly complex world in which, as they grow older, they have to learn to stand on their own two feet. However, research shows that many Dutch young people do not handle money well and that they have payment arrears or debts at an early age. It is estimated that about half of young people between the ages of 18 and 27 have been in debt in the past year. This is a social concern, partly due to the lack of financial education in the curriculum of primary and secondary education.

Impact study young people and money

Fund 21 – a socially engaged fund focused on idealistic goals around art, culture and young people – supports a series of initiatives that aim to fill this gap and teach young people financial knowledge and skills.

The question with which Fund 21 approached Sinzer is to gain clarity. Fund 21 is effective in filling this gap: how much social impact is created by financially supporting these projects? As a result, Sinzer, together with Fund 21 and the projects involved, conducted a study with the aim of learning together about impact measurement and about the working elements of the participating projects.

By means of a ‘before and after measurement’ evaluation design and a questionnaire drawn up in collaboration with Nibud, the effects of the projects on the financial knowledge and skills of young people were identified. In addition, the research provided a source of knowledge about the financial literacy of young people in the Netherlands and the challenges they face.

What have we learned?

In addition to helping answer the above questions, these types of research also provide insights that are relevant to anyone involved in youth financial education. The main insights are:

(1) Parental involvement is crucial for the financial development of young people

Perhaps the most important insight of this research is the central role that parents play in the financial development of their children. It is not only important for children that it is part of their upbringing, but also young people need a conversation with their parents about money. The study showed that young people who were initially able to talk to their parents about money matters were often better off – for example, these young people save more – but also that these young people made a greater leap in financial literacy through the projects than young people who cannot turn to their parents to discuss this. The latter is probably the result that young people can discuss ambiguities afterwards and what the learned means for their own situation with their parents.

(2) Project duration and intensity determine effectiveness

Many projects attempt to fill a gap in the standard school curriculum with mostly short-term interventions (on average a number of lessons over a number of weeks). This leads to versatile but also small effects. This makes it unrealistic to expect significant behavioral changes in young people.

(3) Extracurricular projects seem more effective than projects during teaching hours

This difference is most likely related to the motivation of young people to participate in the projects. Extracurricular projects are usually voluntary while projects in the classroom are mandatory. In addition, due to the extracurricular design, the scale of these projects is often smaller and more personal, because it requires that young people must be recruited on an individual basis. Finally, projects within the classroom often focus on the general youth population, while extracurricular projects focus more on young people with a specific risk profile. This clear demarcation allows these projects to make their teaching materials and methodology more personal and more tailored to the needs of a particular group of young people.

What can Fund 21 as an ideal fund do with the results of this study?

When financiers draw up criteria that projects must meet on the basis of the above insights, this helps to increase the effectiveness of the portfolio. The research results can help Fund 21 in the selection of effective projects, but also contribute to improving the projects themselves.

A special result of the research project was a meeting in which Sinzer shared the research results with the participating projects. This resulted in a substantive exchange in which the projects substantiated their learning points from the research and gave each other tips on how to improve their programs.

In this way, a fund can not only be an important lender, but also a facilitator of a learning process with its grantees. One in which they increase their social impact together.

The full research report can be found here.

The Sector Inc’s partner Sinzer has developed the Strategic Impact Framework (SIF) which is designed to be easy to use and flexible in structure. The Strategic Impact Framework allows you to create your own building blocks that represent your strategic impact pillars. Once you’ve created your building blocks you can develop a template in which you can pre-set metrics to measure the impact performance related to each strategic pillar. Important note: this framework doesn’t value impact in a currency. It can use standardized indicators (such as the IRIS indicators). Here is a detailed tutorial on creating templates!

The flexibility of the Strategic Impact Framework of Sinzer allows for many types of templates and applications. Here are some of the common applications for SIF we have seen:

Impact investors can measure (standardised) indicators for input, output and outcomes. Their custom Strategic Impact Famework allows them to structure, monitor and report their impact of their investees. Example customers for this application are impact investors Noaber Foundation and Aglaia Biomedical Ventures that have developed their own framework and are measuring their results using Sinzer. Donwload there case studies via the links.

Charities that offer services to a community can monitor the impact they are creating on a specific target audience by measuring the before- and after scores of a set of metrics. These metrics can be based on standardized questionnaires or indicators such as those published by the Global Value Exchange or on metrics that are specific to the impact goals of the charity. An example of this is the use of Sinzer as an ‘Impact and Data Management Tool’ for Aleron (a social impact consultancy firm) who are setting up this tool for a UK charity via the Impact Readiness Program.

Foundations that offer grants to many different projects can have individual projects measure the impact they are creating. The foundation can evaluate if the impact goals of the projects are aligned with the foundation’s goals and can give guidance to projects to improve their impact. An example customer is the Dutch VSB foundation.

Each of these applications requires a specific set of features. The choice of the right building blocks and community settings will determine in part the success of your endeavor. Once the template is published you can use this for each investments, projects and/or activity. With minimal effort, you can enter targets and actuals and manage the performance in a dashboard. Furthermore, you can create surveys to collect data and export data in Excel and Word!

#sinzer #socialimpact #sdgs #csr #socialinnovation #socialenterprise #charity #wbs #mba #impact #toronto #love #peace #ESG #bradfordturner #thesectorinc #csi #MaRS #socialfinance #fundraising #impactinvesting #consulting #digitaltransformation

Social and Environmental impact

Everything we do affects people and planet: the changes that occur for stakeholders, society and the environment as a result of our actions, is our social impact. This impact can be positive and negative, intended and unintended.

Impact management

Impact management is the process of investigating which outcomes are material (of sufficient significance and size); and then trying to prevent and minimize the negative and increase the positive outcomes. Impact management goes beyond impact measurement, as impact management entails an iterative (repetitive) process in which insights are continuously used for learning and improving.

What qualifies as “good enough”?

Many organisations agree that managing social and environmental impact is essential for organisations that wish to improve their impact, but demonstrating impact can also be a strong tool in communication or fundraising. Nevertheless, the number of organisations actively managing their impact is still very small. Why? Impact management is a relatively new field: although there are many methods, not many are widely accepted yet; and the many methods ‘out there’ vary from counting outputs to highly rigorous randomized experiments (RCT’s). In this variety of tools, methods and frameworks that can be used for impact management, it can be difficult to determine what  “good enough” looks like, exactly. As a consequence, many organizations become discouraged or frustrated by the presumed complexity and magnitude of the task ahead, before they even get started.

Start small – and expand from there

At Sinzer & The Sector Inc., we see impact management as an iterative process, in which it is often not realistic – or desirable –  to immediately develop and implement a fully rigorous process. On the contrary: impact management can best be seen as a growth path in which the organization starts with small steps to manage their impact, and then continue to expand their impact management practices within a program or the entire organization, leading to full impact maturity.

Impact maturity model

The Sinzer team has combined their knowledge and practical experience with impact management into the impact maturity model.

In this model we distinguish five components of impact management: 1) impact strategy; 2) impact framework; 3) data collection; 4) analysis and reporting; 5) impact maximization.

The maturity model distinguishes three growth phases for each of these five components, and describes what each growth phase looks like in terms of the elements of impact management. The further an organization moves from left to right through the model, the more rigorous the impact management is. This way, the model helps to determine where on the maturity spectrum one is, in terms of managing impact in the organization, and to make substantiated choices for potential next steps in this process.

The more rigorous, the better?

It is not desirable, feasible or suitable for every project or organization to work all the way to the highest steps of the model. Keep in mind the principle of proportionality: is the budget for managing impact in proportion to the budget for execution of the project or activities? In some cases, contextual factors might pose obstacles to taking certain impact management steps, for example in the case of data collection, where control groups might not be available.

The rigor with which impact is managed should always be tied to the organisation’s primary motivation for managing impact. Don’t measure for the sake of measuring, but measure to learn, improve and to be able to report on your findings. The impact management process should serve these objectives.

Let’s get started

Where to start?

Start with an objective: why do you want to work with impact management?

Start as small as needed: making a start with impact-driven choices is better than using no data at all to base your strategy and choices on.

Make it iterative: evaluate the benefits of impact management annually, and determine what could be the next steps to better understand, manage and improve the impact that is realized.

Would you like to assess where your organization stands in the field of impact management and jointly formulate objectives for further growth? E-mail us at

#sinzer #socialimpact #wbs #thesectorinc #toronto #impactinvesting #evaluation #funding

The impact analysis Sinzer conducted consisted of an evaluation that looked back on five years of activities by all 50 consortium members. With this assignment, Sinzer examined and assess the impact of all the crucial pillars (awareness, research, education) of the alliance.

The firm’s conclusion was that the alliance has contributed to significantly more political attention for the importance of gender-sensitive health. It also made knowledge on gender-sensitive care more accessible, and spurred more research into the unique health issues for women.

Through this impact analysis, WOMEN Inc and the consortium have gained crucial insight into the effects of their activities. As a result, the work of the consortium is continued into a new multi-year program, in which Sinzer is involved as an impact partner.

Surprise was great when Women’s Inc heard years ago that a woman’s heart attack is recognized less well than a man, simply because there is still much ignorance about the female body in medical science. The issue was nowhere high on the agenda. Individual medical professionals demanded fervent attention within their own field, but it was not a subject of social and political debate. We thought this had to be done differently. A matter of life and death.

That is why they took the initiative in 2012 to start an interdisciplinary collaboration, the Gender & Health Alliance, with support from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The aim of this Gender & Health Alliance was to improve the quality of care and achieve health benefits for everyone by paying more attention to gender aspects.

WOMEN Inc. then asked Sinzer research agency to map out the results and effects of the activities of the Gender & Health Alliance, which ceases to exist in this form at the end of this year. This has resulted in this effect analysis.

#sinzer #wbs #socialinnovation #impactinvesting #mars #thesectorinc #ESG #toronto

Europeana Foundation is the institute for digital cultural heritage in Europe.

Sinzer initially helped Europeana with a small-scale impact assessment for 3 of their digital collections. This process commenced with drawing out a Theory of Change in several multi-stakeholder workshops, by answering questions like: who experiences change as a result of accessing or sharing information? What changes do stakeholders experience? How can these changes be influenced by tweaking activities, products and services? Once the Theory of Change was developed, data was collected to test exactly how much change was created for whom by sending surveys to various stakeholder groups.

Besides gaining insights for their own organization, Europeana got increasingly motivated to share the gained impact expertise and theory with others in the sector. Hence, as a second deliverable the ‘Impact Playbook’ has been developed: a guide meant for (digital) culture and cultural heritage organizations, like galleries, libraries, museums and archives, with theory as well as practical step-by-step instruction and tools to help these organizations better understand, manage, and demonstrate the social impact they create – which is becoming increasingly important in a time where funding for such organizations is under pressure.

Currently the firm is collaborating with Europeana to create a ‘Playbook part II’, which focuses on using elements of ‘economic’ impact assessment in context of (digital) culture and cultural heritage.

The Sector is growing its capacities as a social innovation and resource development consultancy, specializing in aligning priorities of cross-sector teams, to unlock new capital and resources.

The Sector scales organizations that will change the world and with the Sinzer tool for impact management they add a technology-based robust solution to their tool box. The Sector uses several methods in their services such as collective impact-framed business planning, relationship brokering, deal structuring, social finance and impact investing, and they have added serious bench strength to issues of monitoring and evaluation.

Together with Sinzer, the Sector designs, facilitates, and manage toward continuous improvement, collaborations that allow local, municipal and regional governments to partner with civil society, corporations, impact investors, and high impact not-for-profit organizations, in Ontario and around the globe.

What is Social Return on Investment?

So, up until now we have learned that Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a framework for measuring and accounting for this much broader concept of value. SROI measures change in ways that are relevant to the people or organizations that experience or contribute to social value.

This shows how change is being created by measuring social, environmental and economic outcomes and uses monetary values to represent them. This enables a ratio of benefits to costs to be calculated. For example, a ratio of 3:1 indicates that an investment of € 1,- delivers € 3,- of social value.

SROI is all about value. And not so much about money. Money is simply a common unit and is as such a useful and widely accepted way of communicating value. But in the same way that a business plan contains much more information than (future) financial expenses of a business, an SROI analysis is much more than just a number. It is a story about change, on which you can base decisions that includes case studies and qualitative, quantitative and financial information.

There are two types of SROI:

1. Evaluative, which is conducted retrospectively and based on actual outcomes that have already taken place.

2. Forecast, which predicts how much social value will be created if the activities meet their intended outcomes.

Forecast SROIs are especially useful in the planning stages of an activity. They can help show how an investment can maximize impact and are also useful for identifying what should be measured once the project is up and running. A forecasted SROI can be followed with an evaluative SROI to verify the accuracy of the predictions.

A lack of good outcomes data is one of the main challenges when doing an SROI for the first time. You will need data on outcomes to enable an evaluative SROI to be carried out, and a forecast SROI will provide the basis for a framework to capture outcomes. It is often preferable to start using SROI by forecasting what the social value may be, rather than evaluating what it was, as this ensures that you have the right data collection systems in place to perform a full analysis in the future.

#sinzer #wbs #warwickbusinessschool #social #socialinnovation #MBA #impactmeasurement #innovation #unitednations

Learning more about Social Return on Investment will give you a better understanding of how to measure your impact and be accountable to your stakeholders. To start off this guide and understand the concept of Social Return on Investment, it is important to give a brief explanation of what is meant by ‘impact measurement’ and what we mean when we talk about ‘value’.


What is impact measurement?

Impact measurement has broad applications and while there is a focus on investors and government requirements, service providers have also called for their needs and those of their beneficiaries to be reflected in measurement We feel, therefore, that the social and environmental performance needs to be measured with the same level of robustness as financial performance – which is very common in all different kinds of businesses. Measuring financial performance can offer important insight, but did you know there are also many benefits of measuring your impact?

There are three main benefits of good impact measurement:

1. The ability to generate value for all stakeholders. This impact goes beyond a simplistic focus on the needs of a potential investor and instead drives at ensuring value creation for investors, investees and beneficiaries.

2. The potential mobilization of greater capital into areas of positive social impact creation.

3. Increased transparency and accountability for delivering on the intended area of impact. Reading this brief explanation only, you can understand that every day our actions and activities create and destroy value – they all change the world around us.