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eCulture Blog
Our Benevolent Society

Our Benevolent Society

Society’s remarkable generosity deserves a more comprehensive evaluation to gauge the outcomes of investments in well-being development accurately. Such an assessment would foster a systemic shift away from the unsustainable fixation on GDP and economic growth.

Recently, Liz Truss voiced concerns about the expanding size of the state in both the US and the UK, cautioning against the emergence of ‘social democracies by the backdoor’ and a culture of excessive reliance on bailouts. While bailouts are necessary in crises like the pandemic, my experience within communities suggests a prevailing ethos of action and self-reliance rather than dependency on external support.

In the UK, voluntary activity is estimated at £23.9 billion, with charitable donations reaching £10.7 billion in 2021, according to NCVO and CAF reports. Notably, 90% of activity in the charity, voluntary community, and social enterprise sector is dedicated to individual, family, and community development, spanning social, economic, and ecological well-being determinants.

Despite this, only 26% of annual funding for charities and voluntary organizations comes from government contracts, and a mere 20% of income for social enterprises is derived from trading with the public sector. This underscores the vast wealth of expertise, time, commitment, and passion countless individuals and organizations invest in delivering services and solutions to support others.

It’s essential to recognize that many not-for-profit organizations were founded by ordinary individuals driven by a desire to effect positive change. This highlights the nation’s rich landscape of social innovators and entrepreneurs committed to causes beyond personal gain.

Every day, I witness people and communities collaborating to devise innovative solutions to societal challenges, striving for a better way forward.

What’s needed is a means of measuring this social innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and benevolence to provide a more holistic view alongside the conventional focus on GDP growth. This traditional metric has often exacerbated inequality and widened the wealth gap, failing to deliver the promised benefits of trickle-down economics.

At eCulture Solutions, we’ve diligently developed measures for social return on investment (SROI) over the past few years. We aim for SROI to complement GDP as a metric, offering a balanced assessment of social, economic, and ecological progress.

Working collaboratively with forward-thinking stakeholders across the public, non-profit, and commercial sectors, we’re on the cusp of transitioning from a concept to an accessible online solution. These measures offer a deeper appreciation of the social, economic, and ecological value derived from society’s benevolence, paving the way for more significant strides in community action and a brighter outlook for society’s future development.

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