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The Boston Globe


Nonprofit analyzes its bang for the buck

Benefits are detailed for private investors

With government grants and other traditional funding sources shrinking, investors seeking to profit while also helping their communities are expected to play a larger role in financing nonprofits. Now, the challenge for nonprofits is to show these investors that they can earn a return on money put into social programs.

Jewish Vocational Service, a Boston nonprofit specializing in employment services, says it has completed a social-return-on-investment analysis that could become a model for other Massachusetts charities hoping to attract so-called social impact investors. The analysis detailed the costs and benefits of three workforce development programs, calculating the increase in graduates’ subsequent wages for every dollar spent on the program.

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