“My work challenges the idea that there is something inherent in ‘the social’ that makes it incompatible with other reporting regimes. Together with the work of many others, I believe the research will steer accounting in a direction that helps to create a better world. It will change ideas about what makes a good investment”, explains Katherine Ruff, winner of the second edition of the Stone Soup Award on Research in Social Innovation with the research "Materiality in Charity Reporting".

Stone Soup Consulting recognises with this award the social innovation in charity reporting presented by Katherine Ruff, Phd in Accounting at York University (Canada). “Katherine’s rigorous research methodology, the fact that it is based on field work and intellectual analysis and that it looks at the issue of materiality which is normally neglected, thus innovative made her the winner of the award”, explains Cláudia Pedra, Stone Soup Consulting’s Managing Partner.

Katherine Ruff wins the Stone Soup Award on Research in Social Innovation with the research “Materiality in Charity Reporting”. Phd in Accounting at Schulich School of Business in York University (Canada), Katherine Ruff researches charity performance reporting by studying what gets included and excluded in a report. She analyses why this matters using theories and vocabularies borrowed from financial accounting and looks at broader reporting patterns. A research that we hope "starts a serious conversation within the social sector about better reporting, as separate from, but as important as, better measuring."  


1.     Focusing on a not specialised public, how would you describe the content and objective of your research?

My research is focused on reporting charity performance.

In the first phase, I gave six different groups of impact analysts the exact same information on a real charity and asked them “to write a report to inform stakeholders about the performance of this charity”. 

The groups wrote very different reports with different content and different conclusions.  This highlights the crucial role of reporting practices. We tend to think that it is through measuring that we learn about an organization’s social impact, yet in my study, each of the groups already had the data and they produced very different reports that conveyed very different understandings about the charity’s performance. I’ve been studying the differences to learn about what gets included and excluded in a report, why, and why it matters.

In the next phase, I’m going to be looking at a larger set of actual charity reports to understand reporting patters more broadly.

On the 28th of May, at the end of the 10th Social Responsibility Week organised by Associação Portuguesa de Ética Empresarial, Cláudia Pedra, Stone Soup’s Managing Partner, received a merit medal and diploma of recognition for her work in promoting ethics and social responsibility in Portugal.


Por Amy Raisbeck y Ana Paredes, artículo publicado en "Ethic".


Una idea de negocio, unos líderes apasionados, una inversión financiera suficiente y un público objetivo - son los ingredientes que hacen especiales a los emprendimientos sociales. ¿No te parece nada especial? ¿Suena como los mismos ingredientes de cualquier empresa? ¡Efectivamente! Los emprendimientos sociales pueden ser como “cualquier empresa”, pero lo que los hace realmente especiales (y al mismo tiempo les presenta un reto adicional) es que buscan funcionar como empresas “normales” a la vez que generan un impacto positivo en la sociedad.

Existe una gran diversidad entre ellos; algunos optan por establecerse como sociedad, otros son asociaciones; algunos buscan generar ingresos con rentabilidad para sus accionistas mientras otros se comprometen a reinvertir el 100% de los beneficios en su causa social; algunos consideran la escalabilidad un aspecto fundamental de su misión mientras otros prefieren enfocarse en producir un impacto profundo en un público especifico, aunque sea de menor escala.