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Calculating “Return On Mission”: Music as Medicine for Imprisoned Boys

How do we measure a return on human development? Genuine Voices, a non-profit working with detention centers in the US that leverages the determination of volunteers to help adolescent boys, set out to measure their impact. After encountering difficulties, they learned that some things are naturally unquantifiable, and that in lieu of ways to directly report a “return on mission”, maybe emotional buzz is enough to support sustainability. In the Darwinian world of for-profits, only the strongest survive. We have countless ratios like return on investment, return on equity, return on sales, etc., to rate the performance and financial solvency of major companies.