The Importance of ROI in the Nonprofit Environment

The Power of Possible has been a part of Fedcap’s DNA since our founding in 1935—83 years ago. Every day, close to 4000 staff from all over the country work hard to deliver precise interventions and timely innovations to improve the long term economic well-being of those we serve.

We strive to run an effective and efficient organization, leveraging the talents of board and staff, supported by our donors and stakeholders. And we rigorously measure impact.

Our Metrics That Matter initiative, launched five years ago, was established to define, collect and analyze our impact. It was established to measure the return on investment (ROI) of government and  donors—believing that we have a responsibility to have an ROI comparable to the most successful for-profit companies—measured by eradication of poverty, high school and college graduation, work readiness resulting in employment in living wage jobs with career ladders. An investor cannot evaluate whether our company is worthy of an investment without first understanding our ROI. This calculation serves as the basis from which all informed investment decisions are made. Through Metrics That Matter, we seek to measure more than the number of people served, or even milestones achieved, we want to measure what matters—how investment in our company by government, corporations and individuals fundamentally changes the economic well-being of those we serve.

Return on Investment is one of the many business concepts that we apply in ensuring the relevant, sustainable impact of our organization. Understanding ROI through the lens of lives changed has and will continue to be an evolving art within Fedcap. We will continue to refine the definition of impact, and work diligently to identify, collect and analyze the “right” data that tells an accurate story.

It is through this lens that I share the story of Marilyn Burton. She had first heard of Fedcap back in the 1990s. Marilyn is quick to point out that she was not without family or friends to support her. But she suffered from very low self-esteem and struggled with drug addiction.  But Marylin’s life trajectory changed when she came to Fedcap. The dollars invested in Marilyn’s life have resulted in an ROI of a changed life.

Since her involvement with Fedcap in 2010, Marilyn continues to thrive in her work and life.

Hear Marilyn’s story.