Are You Ready for PFS? (Corporation for Supportive Housing)

Pay for Success combines the best of innovative financing with community partnerships. While this is a strength of the approach, anyone who has worked in ‘innovation’ or ‘partnerships’ knows the main drawback: this takes time.

How much time? We estimate 6-12 months for a feasibility study that leaves communities with all the pieces in place to structure a PFS transaction. The tools we introduce in the next two posts aim to help you finish feasibility as quickly as possible – by putting in place all the necessary components before you start the work.

The first tool in our toolkit is therefore an overview of Key Components of the PFS Feasibility Process.

This document breaks down the feasibility process into discrete elements with activities, considerations, and decision points for each. For example, when it comes time to engage with potential end payers (the entities making success payments on the basis of outcomes), key questions include: What process is needed to secure this commitment? Is executive budget office or legislative approval required? Do multiple agencies need to commit?

Knowing these questions can help you to engage more realistically with stakeholders from the very beginning – and can highlight areas of challenge for your community. If you think a particular component will be difficult, try adding a star to this sheet and reminding yourself to begin those activities or conversations early.

The tool also notes when you should feel a key component is finalized. The feasibility process is iterative, and many of these components will be active simultaneously. The most important thing is to keep moving even if you don’t see progress in one area. Momentum across different components may create solutions in another.

If you are ready to move on to a discussion of what Pay for Success is and when to use it, please join us on September 29 at 2pm EST for a free webinar sponsored by the Social Innovation Fund. For more details, click here.

Next PFS Blog: Tools to assess your feasibility landscape