Before an organization makes the conscious decision to begin the strategic planning process, they needs to look at what the return on investment will be for the organization. The above picture describes the process that begins with one person or one organization, connecting, and some of the potential return on investments.
Typically soft ROIs are things that may not be tangible. For the organization that I am helping strategically plan for social media, an example of a soft ROI is increased community awareness. Through social media connections other local organizations can increase their knowledge of the services our organization provides.
This ROI does not stop there. A soft ROI typically leads to a hard ROI. In this case, the increased knowledge by other local organization can lead to referrals to our program, which turn into a monetary gain for our organization.
This is just one example. There are many other soft ROIs that exist with cause marketing and social media. You can connect current clients with each other, build trust, and retain clients. The major hard ROI that exists in cause marketing and social media is the gain of clients to provide services to.