HOMEABOUTNewsBBBS Social Return on Investment Study: Investing in Kids’ Futures Pays Off Big Time

BBBS Social Return on Investment Study: Investing in Kids’ Futures Pays Off Big Time

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto extends a Big thank you to Boston Consulting Group for their incredibly generous contribution to the Social Return on Investment Study on the Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring Program – a study which was conducted pro bono by BCG with additional in-kind services generously provided by Ipsos Reid.

The Canadian Big Brothers Big Sisters movement is thrilled with the groundbreaking results. As a non-profit agency that relies on partnerships and fundraising initiatives for more than 80% of its annual budget, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto greatly values the roles of Boston Consulting Group and Ipsos Reid in fulfilling this important study; a study which, going forward, will help us leverage the resources needed to ensure that every child who needs a mentor has a mentor.

The findings demonstrate the power of investments in Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring to deliver strong economic value over time.The research compared the life outcomes of 500 former "Littles" with a control group of individuals from identical family and economic backgrounds.

How were the SROI ratios calculated?

  • Four categories of differential life outcomes were examined: employment, philanthropy, life skills and general well-being.
  • The financial returns stem from higher taxes, higher consumer spending and increasing charitable giving and volunteering.
  • When compared to the control group, each former Little Brother and Little Sister involved in the research project is on track to generate an average of $32,154 in additional tax revenue; $49,819 in increased consumption; $5,856 in additional charitable volunteering and $890 in greater charitable giving.
  • The SROI generated by former Littles from the least economically advantaged group was an incredible $23 per dollar invested when compared against control group members from the same economic backgrounds. These former Littles on average will generate $42,217 in additional tax revenue; $65,411 in higher consumption; $7,214 in additional charitable volunteering and $817 in increased charitable giving.
  • The average investment required to mentor a Little Brother or Little Sister is $5,059.

How were the former Little Brothers and Little Sisters recruited?

  • The 500 former Little Brothers and Little Sisters interviewed in this study were recruited randomly using Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Alumni database, which includes past Bigs and Littles.
  • The average age of the former “Littles” interviewed was 37.

Who was in the control group?

  • Control group candidates were selected on the basis of their economic and family backgrounds being as identical as possible to the former Big Brothers and Big Sisters in the study. Great care was taken to match backgrounds. The only significant difference was that the former Littles received the benefit of having a volunteer Big Brother or Big Sister to provide guidance and friendship while their counterparts did not.

Impact of BBBS mentoring on employability?

  • The former Little Brothers and Little Sisters were generally higher workplace achievers. 68 per cent of the former Little Brothers and Little Sisters reported being employed full time, compared to 58 per cent among the control group.
  • The BBBS participants were also more likely to have higher incomes. Their average earnings were $59,600 compared to $52,700 among the control group.

Impact of BBBS mentoring on career success.

  • The former Little Brothers and Little Sisters were more likely to achieve leadership positions with their employers. 47 per cent of the former Little Brothers and Little Sisters held senior leadership positions in their work environments compared to 32 per cent of those in the control group.

Impact of BBBS mentoring on community volunteerism.

  • The former Littles were influenced to be more community minded by their Big Brother or Big Sister and this is reflected in the study’s findings.
  • 66 per cent reported they had volunteered for community service versus 43 per cent for the control group. The former Littles also performed an average of 95 hours of community service per year compared to 73 hours among those in the control group.

Impact of BBBS mentoring on future charitable donations.

  • Almost eight-in-ten of the former Little Brothers and Little Sisters (77 per cent) reported they donate to charities compared to 67 per cent among members of the control group. The average annual donation by the former Littles was $394 versus $329 by individuals in the control group.

Impact of BBBS mentoring on healthy lifestyles.

  • Eight-in-ten of the former Littles reported pursuing a healthy lifestyle versus 72 per cent among the control group. Impact of BBBS mentoring on life skills, life choices and personal well-being.
  • 81 per cent of the former Little Brothers and Little Sisters in the study reported that they were financially literate compared to 70 per cent among the control group.
  • 52 per cent of the former Littles strongly agreed that they make good life choices versus 39 per cent in the control group.
  • 42 per cent strong of the former Littles strongly agreed that they are a happy person compared to 26 per cent in the control group.
  • 42 per cent strongly agreed that they have a strong network of family and friends compared to 28 per cent in the control group.
  • 38 per cent strongly agreed that they were a confident person versus 26 per cent in the control group.

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