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Return on Investment:  Putting a Price on Michigan 2-1-1

Whether you’re in need or in trouble, the value of Michigan’s 2-1-1 system may seem priceless.  Looking at it in terms of dollars and cents, though, the benefits from 2-1-1 add up to an amazing “return on investment” every time an important connection is made. 

Based on the most conservative calculations, 2-1-1 benefits on ”return on investment” amount to roughly $100 million a year

Those add up to tangible benefits and savings to individuals, taxpayers and the state of Michigan.  How does that add up? 

Consider every time a person finds income tax assistance that results in a tax refund, or the cost-savings from preventing misdirected calls to public and private agencies. Consider, too, the value to an agency of connecting with a volunteer who learned about opportunities through a contact to 2-1-1.

Take a look at these real benefits that come from the most common 2-1-1 points of assistance.

              Benefit                                                                        Callers                 Taxpayer/State


Volunteer income tax assistance                                     $146,979

Marginal increase in tax refunds                                      $1,014,391           $73,036   

Marginal increase in tax refunds from EITC                  $2,783,879            $501,098                

(Earned Income Tax Credit)

Faster access to health and human services               $2,625,000


Value of volunteering placements                                    $2,846,745   

Misdirected calls from public and private agencies   $1,114,773

Information regarding eligiblity and documentation    $344,900                $2,443,959

Flu shots                                                                                 $1,240,738             $135,761

Time savings from misdirected calls                             $6,690,612

Free prescriptions                                                               $27,280

Value to access child health insurance                                                            $8,810,805

Multiple calls to various agencies before getting assistance     $2,625,000

Reduction of misdirected calls to  911                                                                $54,248,205

Services to local and state government                                                             $10,773

Total annual value (2010)                                    $87.7 million

10-year Net Present Value                                  $823.6 million


Source:  2-1-1 U.S. Preliminary State Entity Data. August 2010