Do your charitable donations kick back to society?
Ever wonder if your charitable donations make a difference?
Well, according to a new study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), few charitable investments equal a donation like those to the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Canada organization.
To come to this conclusion, the research compared the life outcomes of 500 former Little Brothers and Little Sisters with a control group of individuals from similar family and economic backgrounds who did not belong to the charitable organization as children.
The study revealed that, over their working lives, the former "Littles" will earn on average $315,000 more than those in the control group.
"We found tremendous financial value generated through higher taxes and higher spending due to increased income and increased charitable donations in time and money. Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs generate an average social return on investment or SROI of $18 for every dollar invested."
And for the most economically disadvantaged youth in the BBBS mentoring program that return on investment is even higher at $23 for every charitable dollar invested.
Now that's a lot of bang for your charitable buck.
In addition, the study found that each former Little Brother and Little Sister 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 study examined four categories of differential life outcomes including employment, philanthropy, life skills and general well-being.
It found that participants in BBBS mentoring programs were more likely to contribute to charitable causes and volunteer their time to community work. They also achieved more positive life outcomes in the categories of life skills and personal well-being.
Bruce MacDonald, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, says, "Collective action is needed to change the trajectory of young lives.
"This study is sending a powerful message: the private sector, governments and individuals can support BBBS mentoring programs knowing that their investments will have a transformative effect on young lives and yield robust long-term financial returns and societal value."
There's a lot to be said about "what goes around, comes around".
By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money
Do you think that giving back to the community makes a difference in the lives of others? Have you seen your charitable contributions make a difference?
Posted by: David Wilson | Jul 20, 2021 12:31:12 AM
I really believe in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters but when you compare charities why do you not report on the efforts of religious groups. My denomination (The Presbyterian Church in Canada) though small, in comparison to other groups, does great work in other areas of need. I don't think your reporting is fair to those who attempt to do good in our world. for every dollar contributed to the PWS&D ( Presbyterian World Service and Development) every dollar goes to relief or other mission projects, both in Canada and abroad.
Posted by: Marjorie | Jul 20, 2021 4:16:55 PM
It's nice to know that $$$ to BBBS does good but so do a lot of charitable organizations.
On another note....I often wonder how much of each dollar sent to the Canadian Cancer Society actually goes to help cancer patients and cancer research.
I am thinking of no longer supporting the CCS.
Posted by: mac | Jul 20, 2021 5:20:20 PM
Why don't they print on what some of the top execs of many organizations take in as a salary, shocking. Then like the Lions or Salvation Army take in peanuts for most or all goes back to the needy.
Posted by: dickie51 | Jul 20, 2021 6:47:57 PM
I gave up on charities many years ago...ceo's of charities would be priests if i was giving money....
Posted by: Matt | Jul 20, 2021 7:03:58 PM
David, I think you missed the point of the study, and this article, entirely. The study "was designed to audit the financial return to society from Big Brothers Big Sisters"
There was no comparison of any one charity to another charity. It was a comparison of single-parent children who a) had a BBBS mentor, and b) did not. All other services, whether church, school, community, provincial, federal, etc., were normalized. It was to determine the financial gain to society, the benefits of having a BBBS mentor. It was also relating to Canadian impact. The Americans did a similar study in 2007.
All this study shows is that kids with mentors do better than kids without mentors. Kids from worse off economic situations do proportionately better than their peers compared to kids from median economic situations than their peers. It is really just common sense stuff. Children from single-parent homes were studied, however there is no reason to assume the same would not be the case if the children came from a two-parent home.
The study just proves what most people already knew: BBBS works wonders for those they get to help. It's interesting to be able to put a financial number to the benefits to society... But whether the ROI is $1.80, $18, or $180, it's not the reason people do it.
Finally, BBBS does not have a religious motif. Your organization, on the other hand, well that's a different story. I'm not interested in getting into a religious-based charity war, but it's worth pointing out. And according to the PWS&D website, your "generous gifts allow PWS&D to seek additional funding from government sources..." So, although it's nice to think your dollars go directly to helping others, the organization itself states your donations go toward seeking more donations. This isn't a bad thing; if your $50 can be put toward applying for $1.5 million grant, than your money is ultimately going farther than most! But to suggest your money is going straight to the project, or cause, is not correct.