For every dollar invested in Pine River Institute (PRI) there is an average return of 700%. This according to a Social Return on Investment study authored by PhD students Christina Hackett and Young Jung, and Professor Gillian Mulvale from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. The authors determined that the return on investment ranged from 5:1 to 10:1 and settled on an average 7:1 return.
Human service programs have been struggling to demonstrate this concept. How do you best represent the equation? Social return on investment studies are still an emerging field for non-profit organizations. When executed in a disciplined manner, they allow for a reliable measure of the real and quantifiable dividends of a program like PRI, residential treatment for youth struggling with addictive behaviours.
Over the course of our 11 years in operation, PRI has consistently placed an emphasis on research and outcome evaluation. It is because of this commitment that we have the data to form the basis of the social return on investment approach. We believe that credible SROI studies should be done by third-parties. That is why we worked with our colleagues at McMaster to undertake this project using their own methodologies and approaches.
The social impact of not investing in our program, the report suggests, is far reaching:
...failure to intervene and treat psychological issues, including substance use, in early life has long-term economic and societal consequences in the following domains... healthcare, justice, and generated tax revenue from parent/ guardian and youth income.
We can't afford NOT to invest in residential treatment for our young people and their families.