May the fourth be with you

By James Williams - on 04/05/2018

The fourth iteration of the UK social value bank calculator is available to download.

Four years ago, the first version of the UK Social Value Bank calculator was produced by HACT and Simetrica. Since its launch, it’s been downloaded over 11,000 times, and is used by housing associations, councils, government departments and the National Lottery to measure uplift in wellbeing.

Now, on May 4, we’re releasing the fourth iteration of the social value bank calculator. If you’re one of those who’ve downloaded previous versions, we’d recommend that you download the latest iteration: as well as featuring a new design, it also incorporates a number of new values on the physical environment from the English Housing Survey. 

Wellbeing continues to be a critical issue for housing associations. The good news, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, is that wellbeing is improving across the country. There are two areas, however, that are deteriorating: loneliness and job satisfaction. 

The new version of the social value calculator can help organisations assess whether they’ve made an impact on these issues, and to prioritise their future activities. 

“The UK social value calculator is fundamental to how we measure the impact of what we do through our community investment work and many other aspects of the business,” said Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil Housing Association. “Using the tool focuses investment on what has the greatest impact and gives us a framework to improve the quality of our work. The tool is widely applicable and really easy to use.”

So how else can the calculator help you?

Well, it’s been designed and created with and by the social housing sector, so it means housing providers can measure a wide range of their activities from tackling homelessness and tenancy sustainment to improving the housing stock. 

Not only that, it can also help you to demonstrate value for money, by placing a proxy financial value on each indicator. 

Critically, the calculator is person-centred, so it can isolate the specific factors that influence how satisfied, happy and worthwhile people feel.

By monitoring cost benefit ratios, you can make informed decisions about how to maximise your financial resources: what’s the difference in value, for example, of investing in the creation of five jobs or funding training for 20 people.

It can also help you get more from your supply chain, because it helps you use a common language around your expectations for social value with your contractors.

And it’s free for housing associations to download. 

Please note though: we do ask for-profit organisations and other organisations to pay a licence fee to use the calculator - and we’d ask housing associations to encourage any of their suppliers who are using the calculator to pay us the licence, so that we can reinvest the money in the next iteration!

As well as the calculator, we’ve also developed two other products to help housing associations maximise their social value impact. Our value insight tool allows you to apply social value measures to individual projects, so you can understand the financial impact of projects and demonstrate their cost effectiveness. It has a high degree of functionality so that you can map, analyse, forecast, monitor and report social value across a whole organisation or service area.

“Prior to using value insight,” Rachel Honey-Jones, Community Regeneration Manager at Newydd HA, told us, “we were struggling with a system that didn’t allow us to calculate social value information that we need in order to justify the cost to the core business of the range of activities and work we undertake as a department. Now we can track the social value of all our key community regeneration themes, from tenancy sustainment and financial inclusion to education training and employment.”

As well as our value insight tool, HACT also provides a certification service, to ensure you’re using the social value bank correctly. 

Four years since its launch, the UK Social Value Bank continues to help housing associations deliver social value for their residents, and their communities. May the fourth be with you!

Download the calculator.

Enquire about our certification service.

Find out about Value Insight.

finance; social value bank