Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance Receive $2.6 Million Social Innovation Fund Grant

Press Release

Funding will Support Competition to Accelerate Pay for Success Across the Western U.S.

Salt Lake City (May 10, 2016) — The Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business and Social Finance announced today they have been awarded a $2.6M grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s second Social Innovation Fund’s (SIF) Pay for Success competition.

Governments and nonprofit organizations are exploring “pay for success” financing (PFS), an innovative public-private partnership model that aims to measurably improve the lives of people most in need by driving resources toward better, more effective programs. The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance will select governments and social service providers in the western United States to receive funding and technical support to develop PFS projects that expand high-impact social interventions.

“The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance are at the cutting edge of the social impact and innovation movement, and SIF is proud to support their tremendous work in Pay for Success,” said Damian Thorman, Director of the Social Innovation Fund at the Corporation for National and Community Service. “I am confident this partnership will spur interest in Pay for Success, and will help open doors to critical financing and partnerships for high-impact nonprofits with track records of success.”

“Through the generous support of the Social Innovation Fund, the Sorenson Impact Center will engage with highly-motivated communities around the West who are working to launch evidence-based interventions that address complex social problems,” said Center Managing Director, Jeremy Keele.

“Social Finance is honored to receive this grant from SIF to expand Pay for Success in the West,” said Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co-Founder of Social Finance. “Over the long term, Pay for Success has the potential to help government spend smarter, driving resources toward preventative programs that lead to better outcomes for individuals and society.”

Social Finance and the Sorenson Impact Center will provide technical assistance to up to five communities and build on key strengths of each partner: Social Finance as an experienced Pay for Success project intermediary, and the Sorenson Impact Center as an academic institute with deep experience in outcomes-oriented project and stakeholder management.

Together, the Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance will take a comprehensive approach to help jurisdictions not only structure PFS projects, but also prepare them for long-term success. The selected government and nonprofit recipients will receive direct technical assistance, assistance designing program and evaluation plans, active project management support, capacity-building to manage projects over the long-term, and comprehensive communications and stakeholder engagement strategies to support each project.

In the coming months, the Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance will hold an open competition to select up to five communities interested in launching PFS projects. The competition will encourage both new jurisdictions and new issue areas for PFS.

In 2009, President Obama authorized the creation of the Social Innovation Fund to find solutions that work, and make them work for more people – by proving, improving and scaling effective models. SIF and its non-federal partners have invested nearly $900 million in effective community solutions since the program’s inception. Launched in 2014, the SIF Pay for Success (PFS) program is designed to help cities, states, and nonprofits develop Pay for Success projects where governments pay service providers only when there are demonstrable results.


About the Corporation for National and Community Service

The Social Innovation Fund 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, Social Innovation Fund (SIF), and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

About the Sorenson Impact Center

The Sorenson Impact Center, housed at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School Business, is an applied academic institution dedicated to developing innovative and data-driven approaches to difficult social problems, like intergenerational poverty and homelessness. An important focus area for the Center is facilitating PFS initiatives, which direct public and private capital to high-quality programs that measurably improve the health and well-being of at-risk individuals and families in communities across the country.

About Social Finance, Inc.

Social Finance, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) 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.

In the five years since the world’s first Pay for Success project launched in the United Kingdom by Social Finance UK (sister organization to Social Finance US), there are over 50 projects underway in twelve countries, including eleven projects in the United States.

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