NFF Awards $1 Million to Projects Designed to Strengthen Communities

Published Thursday, May 21, 2015 | by Nonprofit Finance Fund

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Funds Will Catalyze Launch of Pay for Success Projects and Advance Solutions to Unemployment, Homelessness and Health Issues

NEW YORK CITY - April 30, 2015- Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund's Pay for Success initiative, has selected five organizations to receive federal funding in order to make planned Pay for Success projects a reality. Pay for Success approaches combine the unique resources and shared interests of the public, private and nonprofit sectors to improve communities through better health, education, job placement and other services. In 2014, Nonprofit Finance Fund received $3.6 million from the Corporation for National and Community Service's Social Innovation Fund (SIF) to help strengthen the pipeline of state and local governments and service providers prepared to implement Pay for Success projects across the country, as part of the SIF's national Pay for Success initiative.

"With community needs outpacing available services, we must get better at addressing critical issues by catalyzing new ways for government and nonprofit leaders to work together," said Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund. "This support will pay social dividends now and in the future by enabling inspiring leaders to tackle complex social challenges with thoughtful, evidence-based programs."

Nonprofit Finance Fund's role as a Social Innovation Fund grantee is to help viable Pay for Success projects launch. Projects have been selected based on their ability to deliver positive social outcomes; they will also serve as replicable models to accelerate adoption of alternative approaches to effecting social change. NFF brings to this work 35 years of social sector expertise advising mission-driven organizations and structuring financial agreements that prioritize social goals.

"Nonprofit Finance Fund is one of eight organizations selected to be a part of the Social Innovation Fund's inaugural cohort of Pay for Success grantees," said Lois Nembhard, Acting Director of the Social Innovation Fund. "We couldn't be more enthusiastic about the five Pay for Success projects working to address some of today's most pressing social problems including, chronic homelessness, job placement for veterans and immigrants and support services for adolescent youth."

NFF is making awards to five projects:

  • Housing to Health Initiative, led by subgrantee Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. in partnership with CSH and Social Impact Solutions, will provide supportive housing to 300 chronically homeless individuals in Denver, Colorado with the goals of improving the quality of life for these individuals and reducing frequent, high-cost utilization of criminal justice and emergency health services.
  • Illinois Dually-Involved Youth Project is a project of subgrantee Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. working in partnership with the Conscience Community Network, LLC (CCN), a collaborative network of six experienced nonprofits. The project will deliver comprehensive services throughout Illinois to adolescent youth involved in both the criminal justice and child welfare systems. Enabled by new levels of coordination with government agencies, CCN will provide intensive wraparound services and timely access to evidence-based practices demonstrated to safely serve youth in families and communities in lieu of institutional care, prevent repeat delinquent behavior, and support successful transitions to adulthood.
  • Massachusetts Adult Basic Education Initiative, a project of Jewish Vocational Service in partnership with Social Finance, is designed to serve nearly 2,500 adult learners from Greater Boston, where large concentrations of immigrants and long waitlists for English language instruction are significant barriers to employment. The program will combine vocational training, contextualized English for Speakers of Other Languages instruction and job search assistance. Potential measurable outcomes include increased earnings, improved employment, and post-secondary enrollment.
  • Salt Lake County plans to simultaneously structure and launch three projects in the areas of maternal and child health, homelessness, and criminal justice. The Community Foundation of Utah, serving as subgrantee, will partner with Third Sector Capital Partners, the Mayor's office and the Policy Innovation Lab at the University of Utah to pilot an innovative portfolio approach to structuring and financing Pay for Success agreements. Measurable outcomes targets include reductions in child maltreatment, jail-bed days and emergency shelter nights. 
  • Tuscaloosa Research & Education Advancement Corporation and partner Social Finance are developing a Pay for Success Project to expand individual job placement and support services at Veterans Administration Medical Centers across the country. The project will serve unemployed veterans who have been diagnosed with one or more mental health illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Measurable outcomes may include increased job attainment, retention and earnings, reduced usage of emergency and in-patient health services, and decreased symptoms of mental illness including post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression.

Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative funding model that drives government resources toward social programs that provide measurable results to the people who need them most. In Pay for Success projects, strong service providers are selected to deliver high-quality, preventative programs with pre-defined, target community outcomes. Mission-driven investors cover the upfront costs of delivering these programs. If the predetermined goals are achieved, as measured by an independent evaluator, the government repays those who made the original investment for programs that have effectively addressed community issues.

NFF will open a second application round to select additional subgrantees on June 1, 2015. For more information, please visit www.payforsuccess.org/sif.