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Evaluating FoodForward SA’s Measurable Impact

Why don’t more people donate to food relief organisations? In these challenging economic times, so many people are going hungry.

Our MD, Andy Du Plessis, highlighted in his think piece last month, that unfortunately many charities do not measure their impact and therefore are not transforming into viable contributors to social change. 

In 2020, FoodForward SA commissioned Impact Amplifier to conduct an independent impact assessment of our foodbanking model. The main focus of the study was to determine the financial value of our socio-economic impact or the social return on investment (SROI) of our model during our 2019/2020 financial year.

The report also highlights the social outcomes of our model and how it benefits our beneficiary organisations (BOs) and includes information about how our work enables other organisations. More importantly, it offers recommendations on how and where we can improve.  

SROI studies help organisations understand, measure and report on the social, environmental and economic benefits experienced by all their stakeholders. It places a monetary value to each element. A total of 62 of our BOs participated in the Impact Amplifier study. This was a representative sample of our total BO network (670) during the period under review.

The SROI analysis was broken into four stages: impact mapping, cost allocation, impact valuation and SROI calculation.

Some of the key findings include:

  1. Of the total respondents, 57% of BOs provided services classified as ‘Youth and Community Development’, 35% ‘Educational Services’ and 8% ‘Health Care’ services.
  2. All of the respondents indicated that they provide food to beneficiaries as part of their core programmes.
  3. 41% of BOs received 400 kg or more of food on a monthly basis from FFSA.
  4. 76% of BOs received FFSA food donations via our warehouse foodbanking programme, with 91% receiving food donations monthly.
  5. 34% of the food they use for meals comes from FFSA.

47% of BOs responded they would have to adjust their programme if they were unable to receive donations from FFSA.

  • 87% of respondents said that FFSA positively contributed to their food budgets and 81% said they believed that attendance of their non-feeding programme would be affected if FFSA did not provide food.
  • The main quantitative outcomes (social benefits) of FFSA’s foodbanking model are:
    1. Reduction in carbon emissions
    2. Diverted waste from landfill
    3. Meals served to the vulnerable
    4. Continued support of BOs

The Social Return of Investment (SROI) was calculated by dividing the value of the total social benefits by the value of the total attributable costs.

  • SROI = R1,628,353,005 / R16,603,729 = 98,07

The SROI of 98,07 indicates the economic value of FFSA’s foodbanking model and means that for every R1 we spend in pursuit of our goals, R98,07 of social and environmental impact is generated.

Want to learn more?

  • The full SROI Report can be downloaded here.
  • Read Bizcommunity’s article ‘Why CSI should go to organisations that measure their impact’ here.



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