After identifying your costs and benefits in steps 2 to 4, you are now ready to enter your data and calculate the ROI of your WIL program(s). Be sure to use BHER’s ROI Interactive Calculator below to help put all this data together. And don’t forget to input your financial supports! BHER has developed a Financial Supports Catalogue for you to browse and apply to financial support programs to help develop your WIL programs. Check it out below.
You might have also heard of an alternative cost-benefit analysis similar to ROI: the social return on investment (SROI). While ROI focuses on quantitative monetary value, SROI emphasizes the social value of the program. In step 2, you may have considered some of the social benefits that are particularly hard to quantify. Taking an SROI approach when reporting those benefits can allow you to measure and track the progress of your social impact without having to reduce it to a number.
An example of a SROI measurement can relate to equity, diversity, and inclusion in your workplace. The number of employees on staff that identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a person of colour prior to your WIL program compared to after your program is inherently a quantitative indicator. A qualitative indicator, on the other hand, would include the degree to which students from equity-deserving communities feel like they are able to make meaningful, valued contributions to their teams or projects, as reported in peer, supervisor, or anonymous evaluations. Other SROI components can include factors such as innovation or corporate social responsibility.
To create an SROI framework, you’ll need to:
- Talk with stakeholders within and outside your organization to identify what broader social benefits are created from your WIL programs.
- Understand how those social benefits are created through the WIL activities and outcomes.
- Create appropriate indicators to track the changes and progress of your social benefits.
- Allocate financial proxies on those indicators that do not lend themselves to monetization.
- Compare the value of social benefits to the financial cost of your WIL program.
To learn more about the benefits, social impacts, and other factors of ROI in WIL that go beyond the numbers, check out our ROI: Beyond the Numbers Guide below.