Social Impact Financing Lab
For our latest lab on the cutting edge opportunity of Social Impact Financing or “Pay for Success”, we worked with Institute board member Jeremy Keele from the Sorenson Center on Global Innovation to convene a group of experts including David Wilkinson from the White House Office of Social Innovation, Andi Phillips, formerly from Goldman Sachs, and Eric Rosenblum from Palantir along with attendees from various parts of the nascent industry - investors, state and national government, non-profit leaders, and tech. Summit community members from the usual diverse backgrounds who join the lab sessions learned about models of outcomes-financing focused on achieving more impactful results from government spending on social services.
Federal, state, and local government expenditures on social services well exceed $800 billion each year, but only about 1% of that is tracked to determine the real-world impact. To bridge this gap, outcomes-based financing is a model in which the private sector can invest in projects that have the potential to be more efficient with these resources. Backed with data on outcomes, the government can determine where to invest their next dollar, and, when programs prove successful, investors are able to make a return on their investment.
Santa Clara County - Aiming at reducing homelessness in Santa Clara County, a program was implemented to address the most at-risk populations and house them in supportive housing first and foremost. Immediately after being housed, their use of services declined dramatically. These outcomes were observable because data-company Palantir created an application tracking and reporting real-time usage of services, and with pre- and post-housing results.
Rikers Island - Investors advanced a program aimed at reducing recidivism for the 16-18 year-old population on Rikers Island. After the release of the initial data, results were clear that the program did not achieve the intended outcomes. Because the program was outcomes-driven, and investor-financed, the unsuccessful program was dismantled, rather than maintained in perpetuity.
-Petition your local, state, or federal government to invest in models which support outcomes-based financing.
-Consider investing your personal or business resources in these models.