SIF - Pay for Success: Keeping the Momentum Going

03/11/2015 01:23 pm ET | Updated May 11, 2015

I've blogged before about the far-reaching impact of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) and how it could transform the ways we address some of society's biggest challenges.

In 2014, CSH received $750,000 from the SIF, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to work with subgrantees across the country to help us build Pay for Success partnerships - bringing to more communities supportive housing, a proven, effective intervention for individuals and families in need of stable housing and services such as healthcare, behavioral health recovery, and job training.

Today, in conjunction with SIF, we announced our new Pay for Success subgrantees - state governments, communities and providers in every corner of our nation dedicated to building more supportive housing on the foundation of Pay for Success principles. Our subgrantees are located in Austin, Texas; Camden County, New Jersey; Washington State; New York State; New Mexico and San Diego, where the public housing commission (PHA) there is taking the local leadership role.

CSH is proud to be an intermediary for the SIF Classic program as well as a grant recipient of one of its Pay for Success awards.

By mobilizing public and private resources and stressing accountability, the SIF's Pay for Success initiative has the potential to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable people, reinvigorate communities in the process, and forever change the way government serves the public and demonstrates results to taxpayers. It's a new approach to funding social outcomes across economic opportunity, youth development, and healthy futures.

Why do we believe in Pay for Success and consider ourselves one of its strongest champions?

  • It's results-based. Instead of paying for permitted activities, the government pays for demonstrated results. This gives organizations the chance to bring proven interventions such as supportive housing to scale.
  • It's cost-effective. Services are often the first to be cut from government budgets, even though remedial and emergency services are more expensive in the long run. By directing funds to preventive services, Pay for Success transactions have the potential to generate long-term savings for taxpayers.
  • It's evidence-based. Investors are repaid once a rigorous, third-party evaluation determines that the program has achieved outcomes agreed upon by all parties.
  • It's collaborative. By establishing public-private partnerships, Pay for Success transactions mobilize new sources of capital and minimize the financial risk to taxpayers. Social interventions benefit from additional funding, and "impact investors" and other private and philanthropic organizations can marry financial goals and public good.
  • It's good for all. Pay for Success enhances public policies, programs and services for everyone. Most importantly, it improves lives!

For CSH, our association with the SIF allows us to expand supportive housing and ensure its replication is tied to quality and actual performance. Furthermore, we are convinced states and cities will increasingly view Pay for Success as a budget solution to meet the fiscal demands they face.

We invite you to learn more about the SIF, our Pay for Success work and our six subgrantees by visiting

With the addition of our subgrantees, we are excited to welcome new Pay for Success advocates to the expanding list of believers.

As we work to advance proven solutions, transformations in government services, and cost-effective results improving the lives of those who desperately need supportive housing, Pay for Success is keeping the momentum going.