Demonstrating the Value of Social Service Programs: A Simplified Approach to Calculating Return on Investment
Authors: Baum, Herbert M.; Gluck, Andrew H.; Smoot, Bernice S.; Wubbenhorst, William H.
Source: The Foundation Review, 1 March 2010, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 24-39(16)
Abstract:The authors demonstrate that it is possible to calculate “Program Return on Investment” for at least some social programs. Using an example of programs whose primary beneficiaries are fatherless youth, they use a combination of state- and federal-level data to monetize the costs of not having a father in the home. Combined with evaluation results that demonstrate outcomes, these data enable the authors to compute the return on investments in these programs. Their experience in training program staff to use these measures suggests that they are useful to both funders and program operators. Many more types of programs may be amendable to this type of analysis.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2010