Clean water a part of the bottom line (Post Gazette)

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and multiple partners are expected to match a three-year $415,000 Conservation Innovation Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program is intended to reduce farm runoff and enable municipalities to comply with stormwater pollution reduction requirements while returning profits to the program’s capital investors. The “pay for success” program could be a win-win-win for the environment and the economy, said CBF’s Pennsylvania executive director Harry Campbell.

“Farms get practices that reduce the amount of polluted runoff entering our rivers and streams,” he said. “Municipalities get credit toward their MS4 [Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System] requirements and save money doing it, and investors make a profit.”

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Morgan: When government is good (The Journal Record)

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is an agency that should be recognized for its efforts. After years of being woefully underfunded and servicing a system badly in need of reforms, the agency has taken matters into its own hands. Along with its board of directors from the private sector, it began an agency review process to find inefficiencies. Its goal is to find innovative ways for the private sector to perform tasks usually reserved for the agency, yielding more cost-efficient results. While there is much more to be done, this type of initiative should be undertaken by every agency of government.

Women in Recovery, a program under the Department of Human Services aimed at decreasing the number of women incarcerated, made headlines in April for adopting the state’s first Pay for Success contract. It encourages private sector investment in government programs with a promise of return on investment once the program can prove it achieved results. In this case, if target graduation rates are met and the women are not reincarcerated, the George Kaiser Family Foundation will be reimbursed for its investment. In Utah, a private investor recently received a reimbursement after the childhood special education program it invested in was shown to be successful.

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Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement Project (Social Finance)

The Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement Project is a Pay for Success (PFS) initiative that will increase employment opportunities for limited English speakers and help them progress up the economic ladder by providing workforce development services. The project was developed through a partnership between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Jewish Vocational Service (JVS Boston), and Social Finance.

The Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement Project will deliver services to approximately 2,000 immigrants and refugees in Greater Boston over three years. Vocational English language classes, integrated with job search assistance and coaching, will assist limited English speakers in making successful transitions to employment, higher wage jobs, and higher education.

JVS, one of Greater Boston’s largest community-based workforce and adult education providers, will offer four distinct program tracks – Rapid Employment, English for Advancement, Skills Training, and Bridges to College – that draw on its expertise integrating adult education and workforce development. The Commonwealth will repay investors only if JVS successfully achieves positive outcomes for participants.

GOALS OF THE PROJECT

  • Support limited English speakers to find work, increase their earnings, and make successful transitions to higher education
  • Equip Massachusetts residents with the skills that Commonwealth employers are seeking
  • Build on Massachusetts history of Pay for Success to expand workforce development opportunities for residents
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Conservation Innovation Grant to CBF Will Help Municipalities 'Pay-For-Success' in Meeting Clean Water Requirements (Chesapeake Bay Foundation)

(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) will receive an innovative federal grant designed to put conservation practices on farms that will allow municipalities to satisfy stormwater pollution reduction requirements and return profits to capital investors.

The Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) of $415,000 from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is to be matched by CBF and multiple partners for the three-year project.

With the CIG, CBF and partners will apply an innovative pay-for-success (PFS) approach.

"Pay-for-success can be a win-win-win for the environment and the economy," said CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell. "Farms get practices that reduce the amount of polluted runoff entering our rivers and streams, municipalities get credit toward their MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) requirements and save money doing it, and investors make a profit."

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Impact Management: New Kid on the Block (GuideStar)

When Career Connect, a charity providing careers advice, began to deliver services within a payment by results structure (a social impact bond) it appointed a dedicated performance manager, and strengthened its management information systems in order to track data more accurately. These improvements helped Career Connect make better informed decisions around programme design and facilitated the evolution of the programme.

Bringing together an emphasis on practice (such as managing and doing), a commitment to learning and improving, and a culture shift that prioritises data collection can make great strides towards impact management.

Buy-in from the top of organisations will be critical, but all of us, funders and charities alike, can play a role in using our data to improve what we are doing.

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How Massachusetts’s New PFS Project Will Help Make the American Dream a Reality (Living Cities)

Partnership

When we make an investment we’re betting on the team behind the project to collaboratively solve all the challenges that come their way. We are enthusiastically betting on the MA Pathways team‘s success. JVS is among the oldest and largest providers of adult education and workforce development services in Greater Boston, with over twenty years of experience specifically in providing skills training with effective outcomesSocial Finance brings deep expertise as both the intermediary who helped structure the transaction and the project manager and is a partner we’ve worked with on the New York State Workforce Re-Entry PFS Project.

Innovation

Like many non-profits, JVS is funded in a hundred different ways. And for most non-profits, grants are a key source of funding. The problem with grants is that they can come with strings attached, limiting the number and types of people an organization can serve. PFS changes the game for non-profits by providing a sustainable stream of funding that allows for service provider flexibility. The steady stream of financing from the MA Pathways project, for example, gives JVS more flexibility to be client-focused. Instead of having to design programs around the funding they receive, JVS can design programs around those they serve, allowing them to be more responsive to their client’s needs and as a result, achieve better outcomes for clients.

MA Pathways also stood out to us because it takes a multi-track approach by implementing and evaluating four distinct program tracks within the same transaction. The multi-track approach makes it possible for the MA Pathways project to serve more people than we’ve seen in past PFS projects while still providing targeted support to program participants.

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Baker-Polito Administration Launches Workforce Development Pay for Success Project (Social Finance)

This innovative program will combine nonprofit expertise, private funding, and independent evaluation to increase access to workforce development services, including vocational training, English language classes, job search assistance, and college-transitioning programming for approximately 2,000 adults over three years.

The project is being carried out by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, represented by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, and the Executive Office of Education, in conjunction with partners including JVS, Social Finance, the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (GPL), Economic Mobility Corporation, and Jobs for the Future.

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Reinvestment Fund just launched a new kind of ‘pay for success’ project (Generocity)

A more efficient funding model is gaining traction in Philadelphia.

At the end of May, financier and policy research firm Reinvestment Fund announced its participation in a $10 million pay for success (PFS) fund that will specifically fund programming aimed at reducing inequalities in the areas of social services, health care, housing and education.

The Center City nonprofit is contributing $1 million to the pooled fund from its $288 million core loan fund, which is made up of funding from 850 impact investors for the purpose of supporting various mission-aligned investments, according to Kavita Vijayan, Reinvestment Fund’s director of strategic communications.

Other contributors include international insurance corporation QBE Insurance Group at $7 million and foundation collective Living Cities at $2 million. Reinvestment Fund is also managing and administering the PFS fund.

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Outcomes Campaign Goes West (Nonprofit Finance Fund)

San Francisco – June 14, 2017 – The best hope for lasting progress against America’s biggest social problems is for service providers and funders to align around what really works – and what it really costs – to advance healthy communities.

This was the unifying message on Tuesday, when Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (SF Fed) opened the West Coast chapter of Invest in Results, a national dialogue around outcomes. Hundreds of experts from government, nonprofits, philanthropy, and finance are joining forces to shift the US social sector toward an outcomes orientation, in which funding is tied to the ability to demonstrate that high-quality services produce results against America’s most severe problems in healthcare, education, housing, employment, and more.

“If you give a well-managed, strategically focused, and results-oriented nonprofit organization flexible, unrestricted dollars, good outcomes will follow,” said Fred Ali, President and CEO, Weingart Foundation, at the event at the SF Fed. “The incessant focus on restricted programmatic funding has come at a huge cost to our sector. If you're doing it the right way, unrestricted funding allows you to look holistically at the organization rather than just a specific program.”

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Innovative Public-health Project Makes Use of ‘Social Investors’ (Business West)

Jackie Spain, medical director for Medicaid at Health New England, another project partner, said Pay for Success deals with key housing issues that aren’t usually addressed in the healthcare arena. “The nice thing about this initiative is it finds a way to address those issues up front. It’s hard to get payers, like Health New England and others, interested in paying for housing renovations up front, for a lot of reasons; the savings are likely longer-term, and people change health insurance frequently.”

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