Social Impact Bonds

In this series

Investing for Success
Social impact bonds are complex arrangements that require trusting relationships between a range of public, private, and nonprofit actors. (Flickr/Philip Taylor PT)
Report

Investing for Success

The Council on Foundations and the Center for American Progress jointly held two roundtable conversations in 2013 with potential social impact bond investors that produced a series of key policy questions.

Kristina Costa

Networking for Success
As conversations about social impact bonds continue, it is helpful to understand what drives potential collaboration among investors. (Flickr/artist in doing nothing)
Report

Networking for Success

The Council on Foundations and the Center for American Progress jointly held two roundtable conversations in 2013 with potential social impact bond investors, concluding that strong cross-sector relationships are key to social impact bond transactions.

Kristina Costa, Laura Tomasko

Social Finance: A Primer
Early Childhood Coordinator Jacki Wimmer reads to pre-K students at Iaeger Elementary School in West Virginia. Early childhood education is one program that could be supported using social finance mechanisms. (AP/Randy Snyder)
Report

Social Finance: A Primer

Sonal Shah and Kristina Costa consider three prominent social financing mechanisms with the potential of unlocking new sources of capital and revolutionizing how an array of social issues are addressed.

Sonal Shah, Kristina Costa

Pay-for-Success Programs Could Help OMB with Grant Guidance
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the new director of the Office of Management and Budget, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013, before the Senate Budget Committee hearing on her nomination. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)
Article

Pay-for-Success Programs Could Help OMB with Grant Guidance

The Office of Management and Budget should utilize the power of Pay for Success and Social Impact Bonds when it determines how to allocate grant money.

Sonal Shah, Kristina Costa

White House Budget Drives Pay for Success and Social Impact Bonds Forward
Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Il) speaks to reporters in his office at the Illinois State Capitol. In the fiscal year 2014 budget, Gov. Quinn outlined plans for Illinois to become the second state to launch a Social Impact Bond program. (AP/ Seth Perlman)
Article

White House Budget Drives Pay for Success and Social Impact Bonds Forward

New proposals in the Obama administration’s budget will help promote an innovative method to changing the way government does business and will provide a new approach to financing social programs.

Sonal Shah, Kristina Costa

Defending the Value of the Community Services Block Grant
People stand in line waiting to fill boxes with food at a Las Vegas  food pantry. The Community Services Block Grant supports many  community-based activities helping people transition out of poverty,  including access to food pantries for families who have lost their jobs. (AP/Julie Jacobson)
Article

Defending the Value of the Community Services Block Grant

These federal grants provide enormous benefits to millions but face severe budget cuts in coming years, write Kristina Costa and Timothy Warfield, who suggest focusing on outcomes to demonstrate their effectiveness.

Kristina Costa, Timothy R. Warfield

What’s the Buzz About?
In the News

What’s the Buzz About?

Jitinder Kohli, Douglas J. Besharov, and Kristina Costa explain the buzz about Social Impact Bonds.

Jitinder Kohli, Douglas J. Besharov, Kristina Costa

Inside a Social Impact Bond Agreement
The Social Impact Bond agreement itself—the contract signed by the government agency and the  external organization—is critically important to the success or failure  of a Social Impact Bond. (Flickr/<a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/masshighered/7135676497/masshighered)" data-srcset="https://americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/sib_agreement_onpage.jpg 450w, https://americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/sib_agreement_onpage.jpg 450w, https://americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/sib_agreement_onpage.jpg 450w, https://americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/sib_agreement_onpage.jpg 450w, https://americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/sib_agreement_onpage-250x178.jpg 250w" data-sizes="auto" />
Report

Inside a Social Impact Bond Agreement

Jitinder Kohli, Douglas J. Besharov, and Kristina Costa lay out examples of what should—and should not—be included in a SIB agreement.

Jitinder Kohli, Douglas J. Besharov, Kristina Costa

What Are Social Impact Bonds?
Inmates at the Department of Youth Services juvenile boot camp wait to go outside for physical training in Prattville, Alabama. Social Impact Bonds have enormous potential in areas of social policy such as homelessness, juvenile delinquency, preventive health care, and workforce development. (AP/Rob Carr)
Report

What Are Social Impact Bonds?

Jitinder Kohli, Douglas J. Besharov, and Kristina Costa answer basic questions about Social Impact Bonds—what they are, where they can be most useful, and how they differ from traditional government contracts.

Jitinder Kohli, Douglas J. Besharov, Kristina Costa

Social Impact Bonds 101
Homeless people wait in line to pick up hygiene kits in Santa Ana, California. Some specific program areas that governments in the United States are  beginning to explore for Social Impact Bonds include reducing  recidivism, reducing homelessness, preventive health services, workforce  development, and helping unemployed persons re-enter the workforce. (AP/Jae C. Hong)
Article

Social Impact Bonds 101

Social Impact Bonds are an innovative new financing tool for social programs that allow government to focus on approaches that work—without paying a dime for unsuccessful programs, write Jitinder Kohli, Douglas J. Besharov, and Kristina Costa.

Jitinder Kohli, Douglas J. Besharov, Kristina Costa

Social Impact Bonds
Social impact bonds could potentially improve results, overcome barriers to social innovation, and encourage investment in cost-saving preventive services. (iStockphoto/Batman2000)
Report

Social Impact Bonds

Jeffrey B. Liebman examines social impact bonds, a promising new financing model to accelerate social innovation and improve government performance.

Jeffrey B. Liebman

Financing What Works: Social Impact Bonds Hold Promise
Judith Rodin, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation and the only American investor invovled in the Peterborough project so far, believes that Social Impact Bonds "unlock new flows of capital and have the potential to revolutionize the manner in which a variety of persistent social problems are funded and addressed." (Center for American Progress)
Article

Financing What Works: Social Impact Bonds Hold Promise

Jitinder Kohli describes an experimental program working with prisoners in Peterborough, England, that could transform government finance around the world.

Jitinder Kohli

Capital Ideas
It’s rare for innovation to be institutionalized in government. And it’s even rarer to find officials and politicians who are aware of the full range of tools to accelerate better ideas. (iStockphoto)
Report

Capital Ideas

Jitinder Kohli and Geoff Mulgan provide a menu of more than 20 different ways public agencies are promoting the generation of great ideas in this Doing What Works project report.

Jitinder Kohli, Geoff Mulgan

Scaling New Heights
There are strong incentives to innovate in the private sector, but the United States’ social sector has been largely unable to match that success. (AP/AJ Mast)
Report

Scaling New Heights

Geoff Mulgan and Jitinder Kohli provide strategies for spotting small successes in the public sector and making them big in this Doing What Works project report.

Geoff Mulgan, Jitinder Kohli