Linking Pay for Success to Collective Impact Initiatives

Ernest Brown and Hayling Price, Third Sector Capital Partners

Two models of cross sector collaboration that have received significant attention in recent years are collective impact and pay for success (sometimes referred to as social impact bonds). Collective impact (CI) is an “approach to making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organizations and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change,” using centralized data and governance, dedicated staff, and a results-based accountability process. Pay for success (PFS) is an innovative contracting model that drives government resources toward high-performing social programs. PFS contracts track the effectiveness of programs over time to ensure that funding is directed toward programs that succeed in measurably improving the lives of people most in need. But models, are just that, models. Is it possible to blend them together? If so what kind of results might be produced?

Partnering with graduate students at the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab, the nonprofit firm Third Sector Capital Partners share insights on where the models of collective impact and pay for success align well, and what blending the two models might entail and yield.

This article is included in both the Organizational Relationships and the Nonprofit Capital focus areas. Its cross-cutting themes demonstrate the interconnectedness between many of the questions considered in Independent Sector’s focus areas.

Global Topics: Nonprofit Capital, Organizational Relationships
Focus Areas: Nonprofit Capital, Organizational Relationships
Resource Types: Article