NFF Awards $730,000 to Job Training, Housing and Eldercare PFS Projects

Published Wednesday, July 13, 2016 | by Nonprofit Finance Fund

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Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund's Pay for Success initiative, has selected three projects to receive federal funding to advance new ways to solve entrenched social problems.

Pay for Success approaches drive resources toward programs that provide measurable results to the people who need them most. Strong service providers deliver high-quality, preventative programs and interventions. Mission-driven investors cover the upfront costs of delivering these programs. If the predetermined goals are achieved, investors are repaid with a return.

"We can and must make better progress on social issues including hunger, homelessness and unemployment," said Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund.  "Results-based approaches, like Pay for Success, challenge us to better understand the full costs of social change and incentivize measurable outcomes, instead of the status quo of reimbursing providers based on the volume of activities they undertake."

Since 2014, Nonprofit Finance Fund has received $5.4 million from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF) to help strengthen the pipeline of state and local governments and service providers prepared to implement Pay for Success projects as part of the SIF’s national Pay for Success initiative. NFF is now making its third round of grants under this program, bringing NFF's total support to more than $2.6 million for 12 projects that reach people in rural and urban communities across the country. New award recipients include:  

  • Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), in partnership with Social Finance and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will help break the cycle of incarceration by providing transitional jobs and vocational services to men and women returning from state prisons. The project aims to serve up to 2,250 individuals considered at risk for recidivism over the next five years and will expand CEO’s program in Philadelphia and support the launch of new sites in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.    
  • Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) and its partners, CSH and Social Finance, will pursue a PFS project with the City of Austin and Travis County, Texas designed to provide permanent supportive housing for 250 chronically homeless people who are frequent users of jail, emergency medicine and other public services. This housing initiative establishes a new level of collaboration among the city and county’s health, criminal justice and homeless service systems.

  • Meals on Wheels America, in partnership with Quantified Ventures and Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, will structure a PFS project in the Baltimore area to enable more senior citizens to remain in their homes. The project will provide nutritious meal delivery, in-home safety checks and socialization, and case management services to vulnerable older adults, with the aim of improving quality of life and avoiding unnecessary healthcare costs. This project will engage a healthcare provider as the back-end payor, helping to accelerate the shift in the health field toward payment based on outcomes rather than service provided, and could serve as a replicable financing model for Meals on Wheels America’s national network of more than 5,000 senior nutrition programs.  

"The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is transforming the way federal dollars are used to scale the most innovative programs in America. SIF identifies promising programs, evaluates them which removes most of the risk for future funders.  By placing so much emphasis on evaluation and success factors these programs have a greater chance of long-term success when they make it through the evaluation process,” said Damian Thorman, the Director of the Social Innovation Fund, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  “We are also proud that SIF will reach over $1 billion in investments this year - $700 million of that coming from private funders.”

Nonprofit Finance Fund continues to support and inform the development of the PFS market through additional rounds of funding, and by disseminating observations and lessons from the projects supported through the Social Innovation Fund work. 

For more information about Pay for Success and NFF’s upcoming Social Innovation Fund funding opportunities, please visit www.payforsuccess.org/sif. For an overview and comparative analysis of the 10 Pay for Success projects that have launched to-date in the United States, see NFF's recent report: Pay for Success: The First Generation.