How Den Sociale Kapitalfond leveraged automation to improve the lives of over 160 organizations and companies.
Denmark has been ready for social and financial innovation. Currently 300,000 Danes are unemployed and 7-8% of the nation’s young people don’t have a job, nor are they studying. Yet employers are experiencing a shortage in skills.
Den Sociale Kapitalfond (DSK) was set up in 2011 to invest capital and skills in companies and organizations that help solve social problems – with the aim of making a positive change for Denmark and its people. Since then, DSK has helped create 1177 jobs and training places for marginalized people and has allocated DKK589mil ($US78.5mil) to social investments.
“We’re currently offering Social Impact investment in social programs and activities, and help create partnerships with government agencies and social service providers,” says Severin Dam Johansen project manager at DSK. “This model of public-private partnerships has been applied in the UK, US, Australia and many other countries.”
Each of us has saved about eight hours a week - giving an extra day every week to focus on other things.
Impact measurement is a vital part of DSK as it helps them understand what methods are and aren’t working and how they can improve on realising their vision.
Their stakeholders also want better data and a deeper understanding of impact and ROI. They want to know the monetary value of the benefits for society and individuals. So outcomes measurement has become a requirement.
“We’ve noticed that the government and other large stakeholders are demanding better and more detailed impact measurement which has now also become one of our own goals. We need to be able to prove to all of our stakeholders groups that we are making a difference.”
Starting out, DSK’s impact measurement process used to be manual, time consuming and labor intensive. From formatting and sending Excel spreadsheets and time mapping, to setting up new evaluations for each program and extracting data from spreadsheets. But as the organization grew, so did its measurement needs.
“The whole process was quite time consuming. We spent some time looking for a solution that would address the data collection process and give us more control of our data,” Severin says.
“We knew that the amount of data was going to expand quite heavily, as we had programs and activities with different stakeholders that required data. The need for an automated way to conduct all these data collection evaluations was crucial. It would mean we would have more time to spend on other activities.”
Socialsuite has eliminated all of these manual processes and have enabled DKS to scale to measuring impact for over 160 companies and organizations.
“Each of us has saved about eight hours a week - giving an extra day every week to focus on other things.”
As the standards and best practice for impact measurement are still evolving, it can be tricky to know where to start with it.
“Standards are still developing in social impact measurement which can make it difficult to align outcomes with different stakeholders' needs. We need to work out what the most crucial thing to measure is, how to do that most effectively, and what standards to apply to the process,” says Severin.
He recommends starting with thinking about impact measurement as an investment in the future.
“Don’t see it as buying a product that generates positive cash flows. Look at it as an investment in resources within your organization, where you’re setting up the ability to measure and assess your programs for the future.”
Based on experience, Severin also recommends investing in the right technology for your program. Because in the long term, you’ll save time, money and resources.
“Trying to meet all the different stakeholder groups’ impact needs was very time consuming doing it all manually. Socialsuite has been a game-changer.”