What Do Changes in the Social Value Act Mean for the Finance Industry?

Financial IT: Can you please tell us more about your background? What’s the story behind the founding whatimpact?

Our journey began in 2017 with a platform that sought to give a voice to all charities regardless of size or cause. Our philosophy was that a shared vision of the future was what mattered. We matched charities with companies that wanted to solve the same issue. As our network grew, so did our knowledge of the sector and we realised that we had to expand to include more organisations. By 2018, the platform had become the UK’s top charity search site. 

In order to keep meeting sector needs and to make a bigger impact, I took the decision to evolve. This is when&nbsp whatimpact.com  was born, an expanded platform that includes social enterprises, companies and grantmakers as well as charities, so that organisations can interact and share resources with ease.

The profiles on our site act as a hub for all impact activity where users can list their goals, their previous work, co-founding opportunities and resource requests and offers. Our simple application processes make connecting with partners easy and our impact reports standardise the process of evidencing work.

Financial IT: What is unique about whatimpact and how does the company do to stand out among its competitors?

whatimpact is an AI matchmaking platform, connecting companies and charities to help implement CSR programmes in line with the new requirements in the Social Value Act (SVA). Ernst & Young, Brewin Dolphin, Equiida and other leading finance businesses have already joined whatimpact to comply with new regulations and to run more effective CSR programmes.

The Procurement Policy Note that came into effect in January requires all companies that bid for public contracts to present a social value delivery plan and to report back on their social value impact, or risk losing their contract. 

However, determining and evidencing social value is a time-consuming and confusing process for many companies, which is why whatimpact requires charities to report back to companies using their social impact reporting tool which is directly compatible with the eight outcomes and their specific award criteria.

No other tool like this exists. 

Financial IT: Looking forward to one year, what are the main changes that you expect to take place? What's next for whatimpact?

At whatimpact we believe that the inefficiency in grant-giving is a barrier to solving some of the world’s most pressing issues. 

Our approach is a single platform that unites all parties, giving equal opportunity to organisations of every size and type to give and receive help, based on shared goals for the future and value driven work.                       

To make that a success, we have three clear outcome goals that we hope to achieve across the next year: 

  1. Recipient organisations can receive more funding and other types of support, whilst simultaneously reducing their fundraising costs.

  2. Both Supporters and Recipients report higher satisfaction with partnerships based on successful matchmaking.

  3. Increased transparency in impact reporting by charities and increased trust amongst platform participants.

​​Financial IT: The Social Value Act (SVA) Policy Note that came into effect in January. What do you think is the ultimate purpose of the newly enhanced SVA?

As a result of the new procurement policy note, simply adding general corporate policies and corporate responsibility statements to a tender is no longer sufficient. Now, companies will need to deliver and evidence targeted social value improvements for the duration of the contract.

This is a very important change and it serves a bigger goal. The end goal of the newly enhanced SVA is to deliver genuine social value through the government’s commercial activities. The UK government requests that all public contractors deliver social value on five key areas, which are split into eight specific policy outcomes including Covid-19 recovery, tackling economic inequality and fighting climate change. 

Our mission at whatimpact is to make reaching these goals easier - for companies and charities alike. 

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