SIMNA came about following a three-year “Investing in Impact Partnership” established by Social Ventures Australia, The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) and PwC from 2009 to 2012. One of the recommendations from this report was the establishment of an SROI Network in Australia.
In October 2011, a Social Impact Measurement in Australia conference was held and supported by the “Investing in Impact Partnership” project partners. Following this conference a number of attendees came together to establish an Australian network about social impact and Social Return on Investment (SROI). Open meetings about establishing a network were held in Sydney and Melbourne throughout 2012 and promoted as an Australian SROI Network.
Attendees included people from not-for-profits, business, philanthropic, social investment, social enterprise, consulting, corporates and academic organisations. Their feedback indicated that they wanted a network about the practice of social impact measurement generally rather than a network for a specific framework.
A survey of people from these sectors reflected this preference and so the original network name (SROI Network) was changed to SIMNA in December 2012.
SIMNA was honoured to host three CEOs as speakers at its launch in December 2012. Michael Traile from Social Ventures Australia, Andrew Young from the Centre for Social Impact and the keynote speaker was Cassandra Goldie from ACOSS. The 80 plus attendees were engaged by a panel discussion with Dr Gianni Zappala, Centre for Social Impact, Matt Bevan from Uniting and Luke Brannigan from the MLC Foundation. Ross Wyatt from Net Balance then lead a workshop on what they would like SIMNA to do and achieve.
Since inception SIMNA has been a self-organising community of practice. The SIMNA national council and state chapters are run by volunteers. From 2012–2016, SIMNA operated with the support of CSI. CSI provided the vehicle for SIMNA’s operations and provided substantial financial and in-kind support.
SIMNA incorporated as a separate entity in 2016 and CSI became a Lifetime Member. CSI and SIMNA continue to partner in the advancement best practice of outcome measurement and development of the measurement community.