Social Innovation Fund: Transaction Structuring Program


Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), in partnership with the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund (SIF), and with support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, is awarding a total of $4.32 million in 2015-17 to support Pay for Success (PFS) transaction structuring efforts across the United States. Pay for Success is an innovative funding model that drives resources toward social programs that provide measurable results to the people who need them most. Through a series of open grant competitions, NFF is providing funding to governments, service providers and transaction coordinators - third-party partners that facilitate capital raising, contract negotiation, and stakeholder engagement - that are working to structure and launch Pay for Success projects.

NFF has made awards supporting efforts to improve education, employment, housing and health in communities across the country. These projects have been selected based on their ability to deliver positive social outcomes and serve as replicable models for the use of PFS to accelerate adoption of promising approaches to effecting social change.

On September 1, 2016 NFF announced a request for proposals for a fourth round of funding. Full proposals are due October 17, 2016 by 5:00 pm PST. From October 18, 2016 - February 1, 2017 applications will be accepted on a rolling basis - if funding remains available. All application materials and deadlines can be found on the Application Materials page.

For more information about this initiative, or if you are interested in providing support to leaders pursuing Pay for Success projects and receiving awards under this initiative, please contact

Initiative Objectives: Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) envisions a world where capital and expertise come together to build a more just and vibrant society. There is insufficient public funding to meet rising demand for social services. We need to increase the amount of money flowing to the social sector and improve funding structures so that we can provide meaningful outcomes for communities in need. We believe Pay for Success approaches have the potential to play a role in this broader movement to improve how we achieve, and pay for, positive social change.

We have two objectives for this initiative:

Primary Objective: To fund the exploration of innovative and diverse PFS funding strategies and expand the PFS market, in alignment with the Social Innovation Fund goals. NFF will hold multiple, open competitions to select approximately six sub-grantees each year. Funding will advance a cohort of promising, high-quality PFS approaches that can in turn create a significant social benefit.

Secondary Objective: To broaden and strengthen the PFS field by openly sharing knowledge, resources, and lessons learned. NFF aims to make PFS more accessible to a broad universe of government and social sector leaders, equipping them with the resources developed by existing participants and providing tools that will encourage new entrants in the PFS field.

Key links:

About CNCS SIF and the SIF PFS Grants Competition

SIF’s Pay for Success grantees are exploring and launching projects designed to improve community outcomes in the areas of youth development, economic opportunity, and healthy futures. These grantees are also helping to expand how the PFS model is applied in terms of geographic reach, social issue area and approach.

The Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service and champions community solutions through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a key White House initiative and program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), combines public and private resources to grow the impact of innovative, community-based solutions that have compelling evidence of improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States. The SIF invests in three priority areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. In just a few years the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) and its private-sector partners have invested more than $700 million in compelling community solutions-- $243 million in federal grants plus $540 million in non-federal match commitments in 35 intermediary grantees and 217 nonprofits in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

For a more information about the work of CNCS, please visit For more about the Social Innovation Fund and its approach to PFS, please visit

About the Laura and John Arnold Foundation

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is a private foundation committed to producing substantial, widespread, and lasting reforms that will maximize opportunities and minimize injustice in society. As part of its focus on public accountability, LJAF supports Pay for Success (PFS) projects that allow governments to make risk-free investments in an effort to improve citizens’ lives and ensure that tax dollars are allocated in the smartest, most efficient way.

LJAF’s primary interest in PFS financing is related to testing its feasibility and value as an effective tool for data-based decision-making in government, both in terms of achieving outcomes of value to society and improving government efficiency. To that end, LJAF has invested more than $14 million in PFS projects, including the New York State Workforce Re-entry Program and the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Initiative, both of which are designed to improve public safety, reduce recidivism, and save taxpayers’ money. LJAF also provides funding for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Impact Bond Lab and is partnering with NFF and the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation to host a series of regional summits to advance PFS projects throughout the U.S.

In addition to its work in public accountability, LJAF supports organizations that are working to produce systemic change in the areas of criminal justice, education, and research integrity. LJAF has offices in Houston and New York City. For more information, please visit LJAF’s website at