And so it begins. This is the first of what I hope will be a limited series of updates on the impact of sequestration on the very real people served by JVS.

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In spite of the hostility frequently aimed at immigrants, people from around the world are still willing to leave everything behind for the chance to make it in America.

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In 2008, during the depths of the recession, I spent the morning visiting a job club that we were running in a synagogue on the South Shore. The vast majority of the participants were over 50, out of work, and many were very dispirited. Hearing about their experience, skills and passions, I kept thinking about what a waste of human talent this was, and left feeling haunted by the experience, and very frustrated that we couldn't quickly fix the situation for them.

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They say that what gets measured gets done. JVS has long had a culture of measuring and evaluating our work. But with the recent completion of the Social Return On Investment Study (SROI), we took our measurement to a new level.Paraphrasing Jeff Swartz, former CEO of Timberland Co., and a panelist at the study’s publication event, SROI moves the field of human services and philanthropy from inputs and outcomes to impact, and that is an enormous leap.JVS’s, and peer organizations’ previous data collection efforts focused primarily on inputs, such as how many people we served, and outputs, such as how many people we helped get jobs.The SROI formula, which measures the difference in client earnings over time, divided by the total cost of our services to those clients, measures impact, or how the lives of those clients are changed.

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On Wednesday following election day, most Americans were waking up bleary-eyed from staying up too late watching returns, happy to say goodbye to the constant barrage of campaign ads, and either thrilled or dismayed with the results.

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