Educate. Engage. Empower.


“Ms. Barbara completely changed my life. She has given me advice when I have needed it. She has helped me with my homework, but not in a way where it seemed that she gave me all the answers. We have stayed in school very late finishing papers. This year she found me a great therapist for my learning disability. Ms. Barbara is an awesome tutor and is one of the four influential people I hold in my heart. ”

Jesse, a student at Chavez who graduated in 2011, and whose grades increased from mostly F’s to all A’s and B’s after working with RISE-DC tutor Barbara Taylor

Measurable Social Return on Investment

Success Markets, Inc. (SMI), an independent non-profit that helps organizations measure and find ways to optimize their impact in making meaningful changes in the lives of the poor, recently completed an evaluation of RISE-DC’s programs. RISE-DC received SMI’s highest rating.

“We have found RISE-DC to be highly cost-effective in providing life-changing outcomes. [By giving to RISE-DC)] you can do a lot of measurable good for some low-income students in an exemplary, paradigm-shifting way that is informed by insightful analysis and that demands accountability for outcomes.”

“I believe so strongly in RISE-DC’s ability to create remarkable returns for the poor I have decided to personally make this unusually clear to prospective new donors to RICH. I have committed funds from my private foundation to guarantee that new donations to RISE-DC programs will realize at least a 12:1 Social Return on Investment (SROI), verified by a credible, independent third party. If this target is not achieved, up to $20,000 of donations accepting this guarantee will be “refunded” and contributed to another charity of the donor’s choosing.”

— Terry Colvin, President, SMI

SMI investigated the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of RISE-DC’s tutoring and mentoring programs at two Washington, DC, public high schools—Anacostia High School and the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School—and has come to the following conclusions:

  • SMI estimates participating students receive, on average, $30,000 in additional lifetime income benefits as a result of RISE-DC’s programs. Seventy-five percent of RISE-DC’s students have incomes below $12,000, including public assistance.
  • Society receives an additional $12,000 for each student tutored in the form of increased tax revenues and cost savings.
  • Since the cost of tutoring a RISE-DC student is approximately $2,000, the SROI for a RISE-DC student is approximately 21:1, or $21 in return for every dollar invested. This is an unusually high return compared to alternatives currently available.

Read a Summary of SMI’s findings. Further details are provided in a separate investigation report, available upon request. SMI’s analysis was comprehensive, and focused on estimating the value RISE-DC creates for all beneficiaries over their lifetimes. As reported in their valuation of outcomes of RISE-DC programs, SMI discovered that students who did (or will) not drop out from school due to RISE-DC’s efforts are the big value recipients. SMI’s analysis also showed how RISE-DC provided important benefits to those students who would have graduated from high school even without its intervention, by giving them valuable skills they need to succeed in college.