Wilder Research Calculates Jeremiah's Return on Investment

Wilder Research has released a report analyzing the social return on investment (ROI) of Jeremiah Program, finding significant positive economic value for participants, private funders, taxpayers, and society as a whole. The ROI is the comparison of the economic value of the outcomes of the program to the actual investment in the program.

Researchers Jose Diaz and Gabriel Piña, who conducted the study, noted the groundbreaking nature of this ROI study as this type of research is rare among organizations with complex programming and services. Jeremiah Program commissioned Wilder to conduct the analysis; Target Foundation provided funding.

Key Findings

  • Every $1 invested in a Jeremiah family can return $4 to society, depending upon graduation rates. This compares favorably to supportive housing ROI studies in Minnesota showing a return of $1.32 per $1 invested.
  • With every 100 Jeremiah Program graduates, society receives net benefits of at least $16 million over the course of the graduates’ lifetimes.
  • Jeremiah’s approach registers benefits for both first and second generations:
    • First-generation benefits: Increased lifetime earnings as a result of additional post-secondary education; Increased taxes paid by participants; Savings to taxpayers due to reduced use of public assistance
    • Second-generation benefits: Savings from reduced use of special education; Increased lifetime earnings; Increased taxes paid; Savings from crime reduction
  • Private funders’ investment in Jeremiah families generates a return ranging from $4 to $6 for every $1 invested, depending upon graduation rates.
  • Additional benefits not included in the ROI calculation include reduced health care and emergency room costs; empowerment training provided to non-Jeremiah families; contributions both generations make as volunteers after leaving Jeremiah; continued development of children who remain in the child development centers after mothers leave the program; and reduced use of public assistance by the second generation.
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