In the summer of 2017, UTEC was thrilled to receive a sub grant from the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah to participate in a Pay for Success (PFS) feasibility program. Pay for Success is an innovative approach to assisting social issues.
As part of the feasibility cohort, UTEC attended the 2018 Winter Innovation Summit, hosted by University of Utah and Sorenson Impact Center in Salt Lake City. The Summit brought together policymakers, donors, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurs from across the country to explore impact investing and the future of social innovation.
On day one, two events Philanthropic Big Bets and Pay for Success: A Practitioner’s Story stood out for UTEC. It emphasized how social problems can be solved only if private investors and philanthropists act with urgency. While many foundations, investors and companies want to ‘move the needle’ on critical issues, material investments in a bold idea or a program is still done by a few. To name a few, the diverse panel included Kimberlee Cornett, Executive Director at Kresge Foundation, John Balbach, Associate Director at MacArthur Foundation and Rehana Nathoo, VP of Social Innovation at The Case Foundation.
The other panel Pay for Success: A Practitioner’s Story brought together key project partners in Salt Lake County’s Pay for Success program launched at the end of 2015, which consisted of two social projects: (1) the Homes Not Jails project intended to help reduce persistent homelessness, and (2) the REACH (Recovery, Engagement, Assessment, Career, and Housing) program intended to address jail recidivism.
Speakers from Third Sector and The Road Home and First Step House shared lessons and insights on how to efficiently develop, fund and implement outcomes-driven programs. Similar to this panel, there was a workshop – SF Federal Reserve: A Deep Dive Workshop on Improving Outcomes for Justice-Involved Youth.
The workshop highlighted existing evidence-based interventions in juvenile justice, and PFS structure in these programs. The second part of the workshop was led by Nirav Shah, Vice President at Social Finance wherein he discussed his ongoing project in Memphis, TN aimed at developing a rate card for serving individuals at a moderate-to-high risk of re-offending.
As UTEC determines the feasibility of various innovative funding models to expand its program services, this summit was an excellent peek into existing and in-development Pay for Success, Pay for Performance and Outcomes Rate Card projects. In summary, the conference put a laser focus on continuously measuring outcomes. Ultimately, these well-defined measurable outcomes will guide resources into programs that are working. Leaders including Mayor Ben McAdams and Jim Sorenson emphasized the importance of data and evidence in developing Pay for Performance or PFS contracts.
Last but not the least, the last day of the conference was all about networking with like-minded organizations and professionals, and skiing in the slopes of Salt Lake City!
We are grateful for the Social Innovation Fund and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation for giving us this opportunity. Through this program, UTEC has received valuable financial and technical assistance from the Sorenson Impact in strengthening our performance measurement systems in preparation for a Pay for Success contract.
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Source: Lowell Sun