Social Finance is working with governments, impact investors, and philanthropists to support those providing direct COVID-19 relief, designing projects to enable an equitable recovery, and building systems for long-term resilience.

Rapid Response


Social Finance is working to help government officials navigate these unprecedented times. Atop an existing overburdened workload, officials are working to meet new demands to adapt programs and respond to emergent problems. We are supporting local problem solving by providing fast, customized, digestible research and analysis, and by connecting governments to one another and to national experts.

We’ve provided rapid response support to government partners on issues related to COVID-19, including:

  • State and local government childcare response (Connecticut)
  • Isolation and quarantine of individuals experiencing homelessness (Washington D.C.)
  • Expert recommendations on maintaining motivation and mental health for essential, in-person behavioral health delivery staff (California)

In partnership with the Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission of California, Social Finance is responding to county mental and behavioral health needs across California, leveraging pro bono services from GLG. Learn more >>

Recovery and Resilience


Governments and philanthropy are facing both rising needs and increasing budget constraints as they address social and economic devastation in the pandemic’s wake. It’s time to rethink budgets with a focus on outcomes to ensure that spending can achieve measurable impact. Social Finance is helping governments, service providers, foundations, and investors use funds as efficiently as possible using Pay for Success tools and financing strategies. We believe there is an opportunity to turn emergency spending into social programs with lasting impact by focusing on results—on issues from homelessness to workforce development. We are working with partners across sectors to rebuild a social infrastructure with enduring outcomes to create a more equitable and resilient future.

Worker Retraining and Upskilling

The economic disparity in our country is even more profound as a result of the pandemic. As unemployment skyrockets and the labor market shifts, preparing students for in-demand jobs is a critical pathway for economic mobility. We believe public unemployment support needs to be tied to worker retraining. Through cross-sector partnerships and our public sector practice, we are helping partners design programs to support training and upskilling to meet the evolving needs of the labor market. Our Career Impact Bond (CIB) is helping low-income students land and keep good jobs by removing upfront training costs and providing support services. A more student-centered approach to an income-share agreement, the CIB can help create equal access and equal outcomes for people who would otherwise be left behind by preparing them for jobs in IT, nursing, and green energy.

Public Sector Practice

Social Finance offers support for government officials to produce the most impact per dollar as they face constrained budgets.

  • Accountability and transparency. Policymakers are moving quickly to expend funds to provide immediate relief and spur economic recovery. Social Finance develops evidence-based and practical measurement plans for public sector agencies to use in monitoring social program results. We begin by selecting a limited set of key outcomes that meet policymakers objectives, then use the best administrative and provider data to create clear, simple analyses and dashboards to inform ongoing management of the program.
  • Outcomes-oriented funding deployment. As officials consider relief and recovery spending, they can strengthen the link between funding and performance. Social Finance provides analytics and contracting support to help governments rapidly explore and implement outcomes-oriented approaches, such as: using a tiered evidence formula in making allocation decisions; tying a portion of payments to outcomes metrics to strengthen successful programs; supporting policymakers to develop clear outcomes goals, measurement plans, and integrated data tracking mechanisms to determine program effectiveness.
  • Active performance management. In the evolving context of COVID-19, it is important to be adaptive, course correct, and continue to improve. Through active performance management, jurisdictions can closely monitor and effectively strengthen relief and recovery efforts. Social Finance helps establish performance infrastructure by partnering with governments to: identify metrics that capture desired outcomes; develop systems to collect and analyze data; establish regular reviews of data to enable swift decision-making; and adapt services and funding flows over time to reflect operational realities and learnings.

Resources and Publications


We are committed to sharing what we learn with the field.

Contact Us

For more information on the Rapid Response Network, Public Sector Practice, or other government inquiries, contact Jake Segal. Philanthropies interested in partnering with Social Finance, please contact Annie Knickman-Plancher.