Social performance management (SPM) refers to the systems that organizations use to achieve their stated social goals and put customers at the center of strategy and operations. A provider's social performance refers to its effectiveness in achieving its stated social goals and creating value for clients. If a provider has strong SPM practices, it is more likely to achieve strong social performance. 

SPM is important because it puts clients at the center of strategic and operational decisions, making it more likely that financial services will be safe and beneficial for clients. For many years, the industry has emphasized financial sustainability, but we have learned that strong financial performance alone does not necessarily translate into benefits for clients.For actors seeking to achieve social benefits for clients, a social strategy is just as important as a financial strategy. Without a social strategy, financial services may not benefit clients, and in some cases, may hurt clients. 

The management practices that constitute SPM are many. The SPTF has captured the full set of SPM practices in the Universal Standards for SPM.