Social Finance Awarded $1.4M Social Innovation Fund Grant to Expand Pay for Success Field through Outcomes Rate Cards Tool

Social Finance November 4, 2016

Outcomes Rate Cards Can Foster Innovation and Promote Scale in Achieving Outcomes for Vulnerable Communities

Boston, MA – November 4, 2016 – Social Finance announced today that it has received a $1.4 million federal grant from the Social Innovation Fund, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Read the CNCS press release here. The grant will fund the development of outcomes rate cards in up to six jurisdictions across the United States over three years. Today’s announcement is part of a larger government shift toward paying for outcomes, rather than services, and extending proven programs to communities in need.

“The Social Innovation Fund seeks to invest in truly compelling solutions to the persistent challenges facing our communities,” said Lois Nembhard, acting director of the Social Innovation Fund at CNCS.  “We are thrilled to award Social Finance a Social Innovation Fund grant to expand the Pay for Success tool kit through outcomes rate cards. This will give governments a new option for accelerating promising programs with a focus on outcomes.”

Like all Pay for Success approaches, outcomes rate cards allow government to contract for outcomes. Similarly, to be used effectively, they require detailed and diligent work to identify a target population, select outcome metrics, calculate appropriate prices, and design an effective and verifiable measurement methodology.

Outcomes rate cards represent a path to providing services and measuring performance at scale by standardizing PFS contracting and increasing the number of governments and service providers engaged in PFS to serve even more individuals.  Rate cards represent another approach under the PFS suite of tools.

“Outcomes rate cards are exciting because they represent a pathway to achieve outcomes at a population-level scale,” said Tracy Palandjian, co-founder and CEO of Social Finance. “The United Kingdom has successfully utilized outcomes rate cards to implement Pay for Success projects at lower cost and greater scale, reaching even more people in need. We are eager to introduce and adapt them for the United States.”

Pay for Success is an innovative public-private partnership model that combines nonprofit expertise, private funding, and independent evaluation to transform how government leaders respond to chronic social problems. Through the PFS model, the government repays private investors only if the program meets predetermined outcomes. Independent evaluators measure the effects of a program based on positive outcomes achieved, such as increased earnings or sustained competitive employment, directing taxpayer dollars to support what works.

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a powerful approach to transforming lives and communities that positions the federal government to be a catalyst for impact – mobilizing private resources to find and grow community solutions with evidence of results. In 2014, the SIF reinforced its commitment to support innovative solutions and change how public and private sector investors allocate philanthropic resources by launching its SIF Pay for Success Program. This $30-plus million grantmaking initiative helps cities, states, and nonprofits develop PFS projects, which tie funding for social services to its true impact in the community.

Social Finance will hold an open competition in early 2017 to select up to six jurisdictions to receive assistance developing outcomes rate cards, structuring the procurement process, and selecting service providers.

For more information on outcomes rate cards, and for competition details as they become available, visit:



Social Finance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing capital to drive social progress. Social Finance is committed to using Pay for Success to tackle complex social challenges, facilitate greater access to services for vulnerable populations, and direct capital to evidence-based social programs – all with the goal of measurably improving the lives of people most in need. Social Finance has deep experience in the design and implementation of Pay for Success projects, from early-stage feasibility assessment, to project development and capital formation, to post-launch performance management and investment support. For more information, visit



The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. The SIF empowers organizations to identify and support sustainable solutions that are already making a significant impact in transforming communities. For more information, visit