What’s the Buzz About?

Social Impact Bonds are the #1 philanthropy buzzword of 2011 according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. So what’s all the fuss about? And how can the concept help the nonprofit sector?

In essence, Social Impact Bonds are an arrangement between government and an outside organization in which the government defines one or more outcomes and promises to pay a sum of money if they are achieved. The government commits to cooperate with the outside organization’s efforts to achieve the outcome, and also promises to leave it free to devise and implement its strategy.

Outcomes that might be suitable for Social Impact Bonds would include reducing re-offending, helping the unemployed secure work, helping children transition from foster care into adoption, or reducing drug dependency. In short, SIBs are potentially applicable to a large number of areas where nonprofits already work.

So what’s in it for nonprofits?

This article was originally published in Independent Sector.