Products & Services

Pay for Success

What is Pay for Success?

In our almost four decades of working with communities to improve the lives of residents, LISC has always looked for new innovative and effective ways to achieve our mission. The most promising efforts have consistently involved partnerships between government, nonprofit groups, and private investors. Enter Pay for Success, a new way for government to partner with the private sector and nonprofit groups to fund and scale proven programs that have real, measurable benefits for people.

Pay for Success leverages upfront philanthropic and other private dollars to fund social service programs that demonstrate success through measurable outcomes. Pay for Success (PFS) ultimately seeks to change the way government spends taxpayer money, increasing efficiency and accountability by focusing on lower-cost preventative interventions that have long-term positive effects for individuals together with long-term savings for increasingly strained public budgets. PFS works by tapping private capital to provide upfront financing for social programs, with the agreement that the public funding source will repay investors after evidence that people have in fact been helped. It encourages cooperation between local groups, the private and philanthropic sector, and government, in keeping with LISC’s basic approach. Pay for Success will add to our financial toolkit of lending, equity and grants that help local groups build stronger neighborhoods and improve the lives of residents.


Each month, our team provides insights into the innovative work of LISC’s Pay For Success program. 

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What we offer

In May 2016, LISC was awarded a $1.3 million grant from the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), which is administered by the Corporation for National & Community Service, to implement a Pay for Success program. We will help social service providers design effective programs, raise private capital and produce the metrics needed to demonstrate positive outcomes required by Pay for Success.

After a comprehensive application process, in February 2017, LISC selected 3 high-quality projects that will receive LISC’s transaction structuring services:

  • Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), which has developed a mentoring and advocacy model for vulnerable teens and young adults in Washington, D.C. LAYC plans to scale up its Promotor Pathway Program, which has case managers supporting youth over a period of four to six years to help them succeed in school, find and hold jobs and live healthy productive lives. LAYC expects to measure outcomes based on participants’ increased academic success, improved employment status and improved healthy behaviors.
  • National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Diabetes Prevention Center, which is planning to launch a year-long lifestyle-change program for 3,500 Michigan residents at risk for Type 2 diabetes. Measurable outcomes could include weight loss and participation in healthy food/lifestyle classes with the goal of slowing fast-rising rates of diabetes, as well as other related health problems.
  • Safe Families for Children, which is replicating its Safe Family Volunteer model in low-income urban and rural communities in Maine. The program hosts children who are on the edge of entering the foster care system and creates extended family-like supports to help keep them safe, while working on ways for parents to keep families together. Measures of success will focus on the number of children kept out of the foster care system.

These non-profit service providers will receive consulting services to help structure their Pay for Success program, including:

  • Consulting – Assistance to help structure their Pay for Success program including project management, capacity building, evaluation design, raising investment capital and other ramp-up activities.
  • Expertise – Access to a network of Pay for Success practitioners and investors with a wide range of expertise on program areas, finance and evaluation
  • Tools and resources – Build a repository of resources and best practices based on our implementation of the program.
  • Enabling the Pay for Success field – Participation in collaborative field-building activities including convenings, presentations, and webinars by Pay for Success selectees, the Social Innovation Fund and other appropriate partners.
LISC Announces Pay for Success Partners

Joint Press Release from LISC and CNCS’s Social Innovation Fund

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About the Social Innovation Fund
In 2009, President Obama authorized the creation of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) as part of the Corporation for National & Community Service to find solutions that work, and make them work for more people – by proving, improving and scaling effective models. SIF and its non-federal partners have invested nearly $1 billion in effective community solutions since the program’s inception. Launched in 2014, the SIF Pay for Success program helps cities, states, and nonprofits develop Pay for Success projects where governments pay service providers for demonstrable results.

The Corporation for National & Community Service is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. 

Social Innovation Fund

Learn more about the Social Innovation Fund and the Corporation for National & Community Service.

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