Sustainable insight: unlocking the value of social investment

Companies around the world and their charitable foundations invest billions each year into social programmes that aim to address some of the biggest challenges the world faces, from poverty, to lack of access to healthcare or education, to natural disasters, climate change and much more. But who benefits from these investments and how much? Do companies fully understand the value of their investments? This paper aims to help corporate responsibility managers and others involved in social investment overcome some of the challenges to measuring and reporting on social programmes.

In this paper, KPMG presents research into the reporting of social investment by 100 of the world’s largest companies and their associated foundations. The results show that companies focus on measuring and reporting inputs to social programmes (such as financial contributions, employee volunteering and product donations) but that reporting on the impacts of social investment is far less common.

There is also room for improvement on reporting social investment strategies. A clear strategy for social investment, with targets and processes to measure outcomes and impacts, is crucial to ensuring companies achieve the greatest benefits for society from their investment budgets. Tracking inputs to social programmes and understanding the impacts can in turn help to improve future investment strategies…

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