By Executive Director, Deanne Everton

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In the nonprofit world, we often think about our Return on Investment (ROI), or for every dollar donated, “x” dollars of repairs are completed.  This is calculated by determining the fair market value of the repairs we make compared to how much it actually costs us to make those repairs.  While this is a helpful figure to have, the Social Return on Investment (SROI) provides a more thorough understanding of the financial value of our work as well as the overall value to society.

Rebuilding Together National, working with Ecotone Analytics, took 2021 data from our affiliate network across the United States to determine the median cost of a single project—and compared that to the social return—or value of the benefits derived from repairs made on a typical project.

The benefits of the work of Rebuilding Together, or our desired outcomes, fall within the areas of increased safety, improved physical and mental health, increased independence, and economic sustainability.  SROI monetizes the benefits that come from these outcomes.  The two largest benefits came from an increase in the likelihood of our clients aging in place and an increase in quality of life.

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For instance, the largest outcome monetized was the increased likelihood of aging in place and avoided costs of assisted living facilities ($5,661). This value considered money saved by staying home versus moving to an assisted living facility as well as decreased risk of illness and mortality rates as a result of staying home, not to mention the detrimental health impacts avoided from the act of moving.

The full, yet conservative, estimated SROI per home totaled $22,452.  The median cost of repairs per home was $7,900.  Therefore, for every $1 invested in the typical home, there is a projected $2.84 in social value generated for the homeowners, their families, their caregivers, the health care system, and taxpayers more generally.

Interestingly, when focusing on clients at risk of falling, the SROI actually increased to $3.44 for every $1 invested.  Furthermore, Rebuilding Together’s SROI of $2.84 for repairs and modifications compares to just $2.00 for that of a NEW affordable housing development.

While SROI measures social, environmental, and economic gains that result from an investment, it identifies those impacts beyond simply financial or business ones, putting often intangible concepts into a more tangible form, a dollar. While we can see the physical and potential benefits of our daily work, understanding that the social value created is almost 3 times the initial investment made validates and confirms the lasting, life-changing benefits of the work we do to keep people safe and healthy at home.

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Interested in getting involved with us through a project that invests in our community? At Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, we know firsthand how life-changing our repair work can be for our local neighbors in need, our dedicated volunteers, and for the companies and organizations that commit to this work.  We aim to help organizations realize their team’s potential and come together for a higher purpose through our Team Build and Rebuilding Day opportunities. You and your teammates walk away from these projects knowing you made a significant, tangible difference in the communities where we live and work.

We believe that everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home, providing critical home repairs to over 600 clients per year. You can help us make a difference by donating to our cause, volunteering with us, or planning a project! If you would like to find out more about our Team Build or Rebuilding Day project opportunities, get in touch with our Development Director, Alaina, at , today!

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