SIF Pay for Success National Process Evaluation

In 2014, the Social Innovation Fund launched a new program to support the expansion of Pay for Success models in the United States. In its inaugural year, the Pay for Success (PFS) program awarded eight organizations grants to either assess the feasibility of launching Pay for Success projects, or support the transaction structuring of Pay for Success projects, in three issue areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development.

The Social Innovation Fund commissioned Abt Associates to develop the following reports and special topic briefs to provide practical insights on specific aspects of Pay for Success programming and assist stakeholders in making informed decisions as they explore and implement projects.

Special Topics Brief: Using Pay for Success in Health Care

This issue brief is intended to assist stakeholders and government agencies considering using PFS in health-related interventions. It identifies the motivations for using PFS financing models to support health-related interventions, the challenges involved, and early insights about using PFS models with health-related interventions.

View Report


This issue brief is intended to inform new and diverse investors about the benefits and challenges of financing PFS initiatives. It also provides valuable information for any PFS project implementers looking to educate or motivate current or potential investors about PFS.

View Report


This report provides an update on lessons learned from the Pay for Success field since April 2015. Included are themes from recent literature on Pay for Success, profiles of active Pay for Success projects, an inventory of publicly-available Pay for Success tools, and a summary of recent budgetary and legislative proposals to further the Pay for Success field.

View Report


Special Topics Brief: Pay for Success Financial Mechanisms

This issue brief focuses on how current Pay for Success projects across the country store, manage, and distribute capital using financial instruments and general accounting strategies.

View Report


Special Topics Brief: Service Provider Capacity Building for a Pay for Success Project

This issue brief explores current Pay for Success project learnings related to capacity building and scale-up activities that are critical to meet the needs of service providers.

View Report


Stakeholder Perspectives on the Current State of the Pay for Success Field

This report presents perspectives based on discussions with stakeholders in the Pay for Success field—including project implementers, federal agency staff, investors, and policy experts. It provides a strong knowledge base to inform CNCS’s Pay for Success work, thinking, and practices and to frame other planned data collection and knowledge-sharing activities.

View Report


State of the Pay for Success Field: Opportunities, Trends and Recommendations

This report offers insight into the rapidly growing field of Pay for Success, elements of Pay for Success projects to date, opportunities for local and state governments and nonprofit service providers to learn from existing projects, and recommendations for the social sector to consider.

View Report

Note: An earlier edition of this report described Pay for Success as “an innovative method of financing social services that shares risks and rewards through collaboration of public, private, and nonprofit sectors.”  The description of Pay for Success has been revised to account for the nuance between Pay for Success contracting, an innovative approach to tackling social problems by tying funding for a social intervention to the verified achievement of positive social outcomes, and Pay for Success Financing (such as social impact bonds), which provides the capital to cover operating costs of delivering a social intervention.

Certain factual errors in the descriptions of the New York State and New York City Pay for Success projects have also been corrected.




Back to Top