Samasource’s Impact Sourcing program provides poor unemployed youth with formal sector jobs doing “digital microwork,” precise, repetitive tasks that workers complete as part of a virtual assembly line. In ImpactMatters’ impact audit of Impact Sourcing, we estimated that for every $1 spent on the program, beneficiaries received $0.64 in additional annual earnings for the first three years after the program — a benefit/cost ratio of 0.64:1. Recent changes in the program’s business model render inapplicable this benefit/cost ratio.
At the time of the impact audit, the Impact Sourcing program relied on funding from donors. However, Samasource has since transitioned to an earned revenue model whereby it is able to cover the cost of its Impact Sourcing program with the revenues generated by selling the microwork services to other companies. As a result of this shift, philanthropic dollars are no longer needed to sustain the program. This means that the original benefit/cost ratio (0.64:1), which reflects social benefits per philanthropic dollar, no longer applies to the Impact Sourcing program.
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