18th May, 2016

Debbie Crellin - Crellin Consulting has written a blogpost on social value.

Using Social Value to Win Tenders
social value community contracts commissioning third sector

What makes voluntary organisations/not for profits/ trusts and charities special and how can they use this to win contracts?

I have spent the last few years writing social impact evaluations for charities across Yorkshire and beyond - for housing associations, women’s refuges and health organisations.

Recently however, Crellin Consulting was fortunate enough to become a provider for the Cabinet Office funded Impact Readiness Fund delivered via the Social Investment Business. So now we've got the fantastic opportunity to work with Wakefield’s infrastructure organisation, Nova. 

Our mission is to help Nova and its member organisations develop systems to help them measure their social value and through this help them to win more contracts!

“Simples” I thought. All that social value experience to build on - this should be a piece of cake.

Having listened to local commissioners and what they value in the sector we've come to realise that measuring social impact, arguably needs to be split into two separate areas:

  1. Service delivery - social value from the perspective of the service that is delivered, either through a contract or a grant. What difference did the service make, what effect did that have and what would have happened without it?
  2. Social value and winning tenders. Public sector agencies are beginning to ask for more in the ‘Social Value Act question’ part of the tender response. The question then is, ‘what can ‘not for profits’ offer that private sector simply can’t?’

This is not so simple to articulate… Take local jobs for instance, a private sector company delivering the same contract would also create local jobs - so what’s the difference?

The Manchester Social Value Policy gives a good start, but does slightly miss the crux of what makes charities and social enterprises so important to the places and people that they serve.

Over the next few months we’ll be trying to get to the bottom of this - but we’d love to hear what everyone else thinks. So, if you are a commissioner of services, a voluntary sector organisation or a housing association what do you think makes ‘not for profits’ better - or doesn't it matter who delivers as long as the service is good?

Be the first to add a Comment

Your email address will not be shown
Allowed tags: <b><i><br>