How can communities get the most from investing in nature? (Environmental Defense Fund)

In places like Nevada, ranching has been a way of life for generations, and industries like mining provide key drivers of economic growth and community stability. But these landscapes also hold economic, historical and cultural values tied to the health and stewardship of natural resources.

The same is true for other communities across the country that are striving to address growing needs for infrastructure, economic growth, clean air and safe drinking water.

Balancing community resiliency, economic stability and stewardship of natural resources is no easy task. But a new funding mechanism is gaining traction on the ground in key places, providing proving grounds for how communities can make cost-effective investments in their futures.

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To combat homelessness, Austin nonprofit looks to outside investors (Austin American-Statesman)

Highlights

A permanent supportive housing project for Travis County’s homeless has almost reached its $17 million goal.

The project uses an innovative funding model that offloads risk onto investors, rather than local governments.

Once the money is raised, the nonprofit leading the project will write a contract and seek investor funds.

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Innovative start up wants you to intern and change the way the social sector operates (Middlebury College)

By Timothy Mosehauer

Amplify Civic Advisors designs and builds Pay for Success Projects that bring together social impact organizations, innovative government agencies, and impact investors to radically change the way the social sector operates and is funded.

The projects we build allow governments to pursue innovative social impact projects that will benefit those most in need, without the financial risk of failure. It allows impact investors to invest in innovative social impact projects, with financial returns, if the projects are successful.

Amplify Civic Advisors is a startup consulting firm with people in Chicago and DC.

Learn more here:  https://app.joinhandshake.com/employers/253452

Randomization in practice (Urban Institute)

The contractual nature of evaluation in pay for success (PFS) means that partners must agree on the design.  Sites looking to develop the evaluations that can determine the causal impact of the intervention may choose to use a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design. For some service providers, RCTs can pose ethical challenges. For PFS partners considering an RCT, addressing evaluation questions early in project development can help evaluators design service provision to manage ethical concerns around randomization. Below, we’ve highlighted four strategies to implement randomization in practice.

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Governor Walker Signs Wisconsin Works for Everyone Welfare Reform Plan (Office of Governor Scott Walker)

Special Session Assembly Bill 7: This legislation creates a Pay for Success contracting program for public benefit programs. The Department of Administration (DOA) is authorized to contract with a private service provider for payments to provide social, employment, or correctional services to individuals only if DOA expects that the contract will result in significant performance improvements. This bill, authored by Speaker Robin Vos (R—Rochester) and Senator Chris Kapenga (R—Delafield), passed the Senate 18-14 and was concurred in the Assembly 62-35. It is Act 267.

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Central Health Votes to Invest in Homeless Housing (KLBJ Newsroom)

The Central Health Board of Managers voted this week to commit $400,000 to participate in a new program expected to reduce the hospital utilization of up to 250 persons experiencing homelessness who are frequent users of the most expensive types of care. 
 
The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition’s (ECHO) Pay-for-Success project will provide housing units and support services through the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model, an evidence-based practice for people with severe mental illness who are most at risk of homelessness and poor health outcomes. The project will identify uninsured and underinsured persons, including Central Health Medical Access Program (MAP) enrollees, who interact frequently with the health care and criminal justice systems and move them into this permanent supportive housing program.
 

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Margot Kane named Quantified Ventures’ new Chief Structuring Officer (Quantified Ventures)

Quantified Ventures is pleased to announce the addition of Margot Kane, who will serve as Chief Structuring Officer. Margot has worked for over a decade to build innovation and growth in impact investing, with a wealth of experience in investment and fund strategy, blended capital structures, and public-private partnerships. As a member of the senior leadership team, she will inform Quantified Ventures’ growth strategy, business development, product development, and transaction structuring across all of the firms’ priority sectors.

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An Interview with Nicole Truhe: PFS, SIPPRA, and the Road Ahead (Quantified Ventures)

Nicole Truhe is the Government Affairs Director at America Forward, New Profit’s bipartisan policy initiative. New Profit is a national nonprofit venture philanthropy fund that breaks down barriers between people and opportunity in America. She’s been one of the country’s driving forces behind a sustained effort to pass Federal legislation to further enable Pay For Success. The Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA) legislation, years in the making, was finally passed as part of the February budget deal. The bipartisan legislation passed in a legislative environment that can be characterized as anything but bipartisan…and yet it happened. As practitioners in the Pay For Success field, our firm has supported Nicole’s efforts to champion this bill. But as time passed and administrations changed, it appeared further and further away from something likely to happen. So, when it passed, I simply needed to know Nicole better. I needed to understand what drove her…every day…through the desert…through the legislative defeats…through the “hurry up and waits”…through the disappointments. How did she succeed and what makes her thrive in environments full of uncertainty? Let’s hear what she had to say…

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Denver PFS project demonstrates promising housing stability outcomes (Urban Institute)

This blog originally appeared on America Forward under the title "Practice to Policy: Denver Supportive Housing Social Impact Bond Shows Promising Housing Stability Outcomes In First Year" on April 3, 2018. It is part of their Practice to Policy blog series, which lifts up the voices of the more than 70 organizations that make up the America Forward Coalition and their broader social innovation network by highlighting outcomes-based solutions to the country’s most pressing social problems and why these solutions must be reflected in our federal policies. 

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Voices from PFS Pioneers: Oklahoma PFS Supportive Housing Project (Nonprofit Finance Fund)

NFF: Tell us about the clients who will be served by this project. What challenges do they face, and what positive outcomes will you work toward? What are the strengths and capacities that best enable the project partners to achieve these outcomes?

ODMHSAS/CSH: The focus of our proposed effort is young adults (ages 17-25) with mental health, substance use or co-occurring disorders who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. A heightened concern is for young people transitioning out of foster care and/or the criminal justice system. These transition-aged youth face many barriers and challenges as they leave these systems. The heightened risk of negative outcomes makes this a priority population for State child serving agencies and programs. Evidence does show that supportive housing is an effective intervention strategy that can significantly decrease future mental health challenges, homelessness and criminal justice engagement.

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