By Priya Shah
We opened up our San Francisco office in late October to host an exciting conversation about how Pay for Success (PFS) is impacting our most at-risk populations across the country.
The event, “Scaling Social Impact: Pay for Success & Social Impact Bonds”, was co-hosted with the Net Impact San Francisco Professional Chapter. Net Impact is a global community of professional leaders and students creating positive social and environmental change in the workplace and the world. Third Sector has been committed to furthering Net Impact’s mission by participating in chapter and national events across the country. Third Sector’s Drew Tulchin, a lifetime Net Impact member, and Priya Shah, a San Francisco Chapter Leadership Board member, spearheaded the event.
In addition to the Net Impact community, the event featured discussions that brought together the governments, service providers, evaluators, and funders from our PFS projects in Santa Clara County, CA (Project Welcome Home) and Alameda County, CA (Asthma Start & Healthy Homes). Our partners shared three key insights into the impact PFS has had in addressing chronic homelessness and asthma in their local communities:
1. Public-private partnerships are critical to moving the needle in social service.
With limited resources and capacities, it is challenging for any one sector to measure, deliver, and reward successful social services. PFS provides a solution by driving resources across sectors towards evidence-based contracts.
2. Preventative, wrap-around services have great reach in meeting the needs of the highest risk individuals.
PFS can support the integration of administrative datasets across departments and agencies, enabling increased awareness of the appropriate level and type of preventative services required by high-risk populations. The integrated data allows for the rigorous evaluation necessary to create social services with real impact.
3. Diverse funding structures are needed to manage risk and achieve large-scale impact.
PFS transfers the risk of financing social services to funders, allowing for greater payments to support social services that work. Community nonprofits are able to refocus their resources away from fundraising, and towards implementing and managing delivery of services.