The rise of social entrepreneurship and venture philanthropy has led to an explosion of interest in the area of measuring value and calculating the impact of non-profits and social organisations. There is enormous interest in generating and developing rigorous quantitative tools to assist in accurate measurement of impact and value and a significant number of organisations are currently working on these issues. In the 2 days available for this query response it has therefore not been possible to review all the available literature. The methodologies featured below do not represent a comprehensive list, but instead highlight the most popular / publicised methodologies that are currently being used in developing countries.
In many cases methodologies that have only been used in developed countries to date could plausibly be applied in a developing country context. Similarly, methodologies developed for profit-making companies could equally be used for non-profit making organisations. Most of the methodologies aim to calculate the value of civil society on an organisational or programme level, although the ‘UN Non Profit Handbook Project’ and ‘The Comparative Non Profit Sector Project’ consider how to measure and value the sector on a national and international scale.
A repeated theme in the literature below and in the feedback from experts is that this is an extremely complicated area and that there is currently no consensus on the best tools to use. Instead, all the methodologies have limitations and the debate as to how one can accurately value civil society organisations has only really just begun.