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New Sport Value Bank promises to calculate social impact of sport

By Tom Walker    07 Feb 2020
SportVB was officially launched in January 2020 / Harlequins Foundation

A new service aims to offer sports organisations the opportunity to accurately assess, record and value the impact of their community activities.

The Sport Value Bank (SportVB) is the brainchild of The Harlequins Foundation – the independent charity of Premiership Rugby club Harlequins – and has been developed in partnership with social value research consultancy Simetrica, Everton FC and Everton in the Community.

Organisations can access SportVB via an online portal, where they record a range of data for projects such as inputs (such as staff costs), outputs (number of participants) and outcomes (participants’ recorded self-esteem improvements).

The system then calculates the overall net social value to society and provides additional data to interpret the source of that social value.

SportVB also measures the ‘secondary benefits’ of outcomes, such as cost savings to government via reduced welfare payments or increased tax revenue. These are valued using current government data sources.

The launch of SportVB comes at a time when an increasing number of clubs, governing bodies and charitable organisations are seeking to establish the true value of sport to society.

According to Marc Leckie, head of The Harlequins Foundation, SportVB has been designed to employ "robust, internationally recognised methods" for valuing social impact, as set out by the UK HM Treasury Green Book (2018) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development guidelines.

“SportVB directly addresses the issue that so many sports organisations, clubs and foundations struggle with,” Leckie said.

“How can you accurately measure the social impact of your activities beyond top-level factors such as the number of participants or a change in behaviour?

"SportVB provides clubs with consistent and robust valuations of their impact that organisations can then use to report and feedback to their stakeholders, sponsors, funders and local partners.”

Daniel Fujiwara, director of Simetrica, added: "SportVB will for the first time allow sports organisations to measure and communicate their value rigorously and with real authority, using robust best-practice methods.

"We're truly excited by the potential of the SportVB tool to improve the impact of sports organisations across the country.”

SportVB is currently running a pilot scheme involving English Premier League football clubs, Premiership Rugby clubs, foundations and Active Partnerships.

Once the pilot is complete in early 2020, SportVB will be available to purchase as a 12-month licence, with the cost dependent on the annual turnover of the organisation.

To support the work of smaller organisations, SportVB will initially be free to those with an annual turnover of less than £250,000.

Sport Value Bank  SportVB  Harlequins  Premier League  Premiership 
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