The “Banyan Effect” is a study of benefit and impact. Through a partnership with Rice University, Banyan accessed the data from the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey conducted by Harvard University and undertook its own abbreviated version of the study. Researchers determined that Banyan builds collective efficacy, the “social cohesion among neighbors combined with their willingness to intervene on behalf of the common good.” This contributes to the transformation in the Phillips neighborhood of south Minneapolis.
The study looked at various indicators of collective efficacy— residential stability, residents’ impact on their community, social interaction with neighbors, and level of trust with neighbors—making comparisons between the responses of Banyan families, low income neighborhood residents, and middle income neighborhood residents.
One key finding is that Banyan families, despite living in a low-income neighborhood, embody the same staying power as residents within a middle class neighborhood. The longer a family is associated with Banyan, the more likely a family will stay in the neighborhood (the Banyan Effect). In fact, participation with Banyan has a stronger effect on staying in the neighborhood than home ownership.
The data indicates that Banyan families operate at a higher level (as a result of increased social capital) than their low-income neighborhood peers, and are grounded in the neighborhood, likely because Banyan is a crucial part of their neighborhood experience.
Possibly the strongest finding is that Banyan families are interested in staying in Phillips five years from now. This is important because it not only increases the residential stability of Phillips, but also allows for more opportunities to connect with others to build bonding and bridging social capital. Neighborhood stability also provides a stable platform for collective efficacy to increase. In short, the base for collective efficacy and passing of social capital is present. This provides a strong foundation from which Banyan will take the next step in expanding the Banyan Effect, creating measurable transformation in the neighborhood!