Understanding the impact of your support: Furniture Bank’s 2023 Social Value Impact Measurement

In our continuous effort to not only transform homes but also lives and the environment, Furniture Bank embarked on a rigorous Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis for 2023. This analysis, adhering to the Social Value International standard, using best practices found with Canada’s Common Approach to Impact Measurement, shines a light on the profound impact of every donation, every piece of furniture, and every volunteer hour contributed to our mission. 

A return on dignity?

The numbers behind the impact

Our comprehensive analysis, combining internal data, surveys, and extensive research, revealed that Furniture Bank’s activities in 2023 generated a staggering $39,513,621 in social, environmental, and economic value. This figure represents the tangible and intangible benefits our community experiences, thanks to your support. 

For every dollar invested into Furniture Bank, $5.76 of measurable value was created.  

This ratio underscores the efficiency and effectiveness of your contributions, translating monetary and material donations into widespread social good. 

The summary of the model is identified below in the 2023 Social Value Account Model section.

2023 Impact Report Cover

Read the 2023 Impact Report

Who benefits?

The SROI analysis identifies several “beneficiary” groups directly benefiting from Furniture Bank’s activities: ​

  • 5,987 furniture donors made a conscious decision to give back to their community and the planet 
  • 13 equity-deserving individuals facing barriers to employment found new meaningful work through our Social Employment Program, with a total size of 28 full-time staff 
  • 6,351 clients received furniture, creating warm, welcoming homes 
  • 1,857 children received the comfort of their own beds 
  • 32 regular volunteers dedicated their time and skills, enriching their own lives and those of others 
  • 47,419 pieces of furniture were diverted from landfills 
  • 919 tonnes of furniture were diverted from landfills, resulting in 2,214 tonnes of abated carbon. This effort not only extends the life of our landfills but also significantly reduces our collective carbon footprint. 

Spotlight on donors like you

We use the Social Return on Investment (SROI) framework to measure the value we create for our “beneficiaries.” Beneficiaries are the individuals directly affected by our work, and include the families we serve, our donors, and our partners. They all play a crucial role in shaping our SROI analysis by: 

  • Helping us identify the outcomes that matter most to them 
  • Assigning value to these outcomes 
  • Determining the impact of our work on their lives 
  • Providing data and feedback to support our analysis 

By actively involving our beneficiaries throughout the SROI process, we gain a more comprehensive understanding of the social value we create. Their insights ensure that our SROI model accurately reflects their experiences and perspectives, making it a more robust and credible tool for measuring our impact.  

415 furniture donors gave us feedback about their donations.

The survey had three questions about their thoughts about donations and the extent they agree with the following THREE statements: 

  1. I felt more that I am ‘giving back’ to PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
  2. I felt more that I am ‘giving back’ to the PLANET.
  3. If you hadn’t donated your furniture to Furniture Bank, what would you have done with it? 

Findings:

People and Planet

  • 92.5% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that donating furniture made them feel more connected to their community (PEOPLE)
  • 79.7% strongly agreed or agreed that they felt they were ‘giving back’ to the planet by donating (PLANET)

Alternatives if not Furniture Bank:

* The “Other” reasons revolve around a mix of selling, donating to other charities or thrift stores, and giving away to friends and family, reflecting a diverse range of intended disposal methods. There is a notable inclination towards ensuring the furniture finds a useful second life, whether through sale, donation, or personal networks, indicating a strong preference for avoiding waste.

The ripple effect: Beyond your furniture

SROI methodology is an investment in time, skills, care and funding. In 2024, we are requesting financial support to expand our measurement work to measure the rights holders from our national work supporting communities across Canada.  

Communities in Barrie/Simcoe Country, Ottawa Region, and Winnipeg National operate through our cloud collaboration platform and in 2023, provided over 30,327 items of essential furnishings, supporting 7,423 individuals and 3,463 children across Canada, demonstrating a wide-reaching impact on furniture poverty. 

We will also be diving deeper into the impact of a furnished home on children, our most vulnerable group. Children sleeping on floors for years suffer significantly more physical, mental and emotional harm and we want to capture this impact as a discrete rightsholder in future models.  

Your impact extends far beyond the furniture donations: 

  • Clients reported worrying less about money, feeling safer, and gaining freedom and independence. 
  • Social Employment Program participants found not just jobs but a sense of community and relief from depression/anxiety. 
  • Volunteers experienced enhanced well-being, contributing invaluable hours of service. 
  • Furniture donors felt a profound sense of giving back, both to people and the planet. 

Help ensure no child sleeps on the floor in 2024

Support the Sleep Well Program by making a charitable donation in Toronto. Your generosity ensures better sleep and health for children. Join Furniture Bank's mission today.

Here’s how your donation makes a difference: 

Funds our impact measurement initiatives, helping us understand and maximize the value of our work.

Provides essential furniture and housewares to families in need, creating safer, healthier homes for children.

Supports our expansion efforts to reach more communities across Canada.

You have the power to give every child a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Your support fuels our Sleep Well Program and our homing activities—ensuring no child in Canada has to sleep on the floor. 

Furniture Bank impact stories

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