Sorenson Impact Center announces awardees for Pay for Success grant (David Eccles School of Business)

The Sorenson Impact Center, a grantee of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund (SIF), today announced three awardees that will receive tailored data services in support of Pay for Success projects. The awardees include Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Northwest Oregon Kinder Ready Collaboration and the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

President and CEO of Sorenson Impact, Jeremy Keele, said, “We are proud to offer our specialized data services to these top organizations. It’s an honor to collaborate in services that will directly benefit individuals experiencing homelessness, low income preschool age children and youth grappling with joblessness across our country.”

Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative financing mechanism where the end-payor (e.g., the local government, a healthcare provider, etc.) pays for services only when an intervention delivers agreed-upon, positive outcomes. The intervention’s outcomes are measured by a third-party evaluator who reports what impacts have been achieved, such as lower rates of children needing special education, lower rates of recidivism or lower rates of homelessness, among many other measurable outcomes.

One such project is being developed by awardee Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago (CCAC). CCAC’s project will address chronic homelessness through its New Hope Apartments program, designed to end the cycle of homelessness in Illinois’ Cook and Lane counties. The intervention provides rapid rehousing paired with intensive case management services for families experiencing homelessness with children under the age of 18, regardless of religious, ethnic or economic background.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Oregon Kinder Ready Collaboration is working to develop a program that will expand access to, and improve the quality of, preschool programming in Oregon’s Clatsop and Tillamook counties. The program’s target population is preschoolers that qualify for free and reduced lunch, those who fall just above the income threshold to qualify for free and reduced lunch and those who are English learners.

Down the Pacific coast in California, the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) is developing a youth workforce development project with Second Chance, a nonprofit service provider. Second Chance specializes in job training and support services for justice-involved populations in San Diego, including wrap-around services to help participants reach self-sufficiency, such as transitional housing, behavioral health treatment and financial literacy.

The SIF designed the Administrative Data Pilot Grant competition to select organizations with PFS projects necessitating access to high-quality, affordable data. Lois Nembhard, acting director of the SIF, said, “Learning from our grantees’ experiences, gathering data for evaluation purposes has been notoriously difficult. Through this grant, the Sorenson Impact data team will help programs overcome these barriers.”

The SIF, established in 2009, has grown into nearly a $1 billion social impact incubator within the federal government, creating public-private partnerships that deliver high-impact, community-based solutions that work. As a result of $341 million in federal grants and more than $672 million in non-federal match commitments, the SIF has awarded 51 grants to grant-making institutions supporting more than 490 non-profits working in 46 states and D.C.

To its awardees, Sorenson Impact will provide full data diagnosis and technical assistance for each program and will develop the requisite data access agreements, software tools for cleaning and merging data, legal and regulatory analyses to provide guidance on data privacy questions and thorough statistical analyses geared toward facilitating high-quality PFS projects.

Daniel Hadley, Sorenson Impact’s director of data innovation said, “We are eager to help these deserving awardees tackle data projects in order to reach their goals and make an outsized impact in their communities.” Hadley continued, “We will be offering tailored assistance, such as helping access data in multiple organizations’ databases, helping design useful reporting systems and shaping legal and technical policies to ensure a smooth program launch for each awardee.”

On March 1, 2017, Sorenson Impact will re-open the grant competition for its second round. Applications will be accepted from all eligible organizations (i.e., nonprofit organizations, public or nonprofit universities, state and local governments, tribes, as well as faith-based organizations) operating in the U.S. that are actively involved with a PFS project.