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SIF Pay for Success Subgrantee Competitions

Social Innovation Fund: Pay For Success.

In 2014 the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) reinforced its commitment to support innovative solutions and change how public and private sector investors allocate philanthropic resources by launching its SIF Pay For Success (PFS) program. This $30-plus million grantmaking initiative was designed to help cities, states, and nonprofits develop PFS projects, which tie funding for social services to its true impact in the community.  As of March 2016, the SIF's PFS program has awarded $18.1 million to eight private sector funders. These funders have, in turn, awarded more than $12.3 million to 65 organizations across 25 states and the District of Columbia. This investment has the potential to lead to nearly 100 PFS models across the country.  

Over the past two years the SIF PFS Grantees have released Requests for Proposals to select state and local government entities and nonprofit organizations to receive Pay for Success technical assistance and funding. The briefs: “Submitting Your Best Application to Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Grantees” and “An Analysis of Non-Selected Applications to Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Grantees” present an assessment of how SIF PFS Grantees scored applications, and findings from selected and non-selected applications. Applicants may review these briefs in order to submit a strong application for PFS technical assistance or funding from a SIF PFS Grantee.

SIF PFS grantees hold competitions for state and local governments and nonprofit organizations to receive subawards for either feasibility assessment and capacity building or transaction structuring support.  Please review the descriptions below of PFS grantees’ open competitions.

Open SIF PFS Subgrantee Competitions

Nonprofit Finance Fund


Grantee Mission

Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) unlocks the potential of mission-driven organizations through tailored investments, strategic advice, and accessible insights.

About the Awards

  • Applicants can apply for grant awards of $75,000 to $250,000 for a 12-month grant period to support transaction structuring efforts that result in PFS projects.
  • NFF will award at least $1.6 million in subgrants through this final round of funding.
  • Subgrantees will be responsible for raising a 1:1 match for their awards.
  • In addition to grant awards, subgrantees will receive: support and coaching from NFF staff; access to a network of PFS practitioners; tools and resources to help move projects toward implementation; and will participate in collaborative, field-building opportunities.


  • Until September 19, 2016: Letters of Intent are encouraged and will be accepted
  • October 17, 2016 by 5:00 pm PST: Full proposals are due
  • From October 18 - February 1, 2017: Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis, as funds are available. Letters of Intent are strongly recommended at least two weeks prior to submission. 


Institute for Child Success


Grantee Mission

The Institute for Child Success (ICS) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and policy organization dedicated to the success of all young children.

 ICS pursues its mission in four primary ways:

  • Proposing smart public policies, grounded in research.
  • Advising governments, nonprofits, foundations, and other stakeholders on strategies to improve outcomes.
  • Sharing knowledge, convening stakeholders, embracing solutions, and accelerating impact.
  • Fostering the next generation of leaders.

Description of the Grantee’s SIF Pay for Success Activity

ICS’s technical assistance will help jurisdictions assess the viability of PFS financing and do the significant groundwork needed to launch a procurement process for PFS or other outcomes-based funding for high-quality early childhood interventions if PFS is feasible. The feasibility study is an exploration of PFS financing, and the appropriateness of PFS financing to expand early childhood interventions is not a foregone conclusion.

About the Awards

Three to four jurisdictions will be selected to receive technical assistance over 9-12 months to conduct a feasibility study focused on whether an early childhood intervention of interest is a good fit for PFS. In providing technical assistance, ICS will use either a coaching model or a consulting model, depending upon jurisdiction preference. Service providers in one of those jurisdictions will also receive capacity building training and assistance from the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF).




December 5th              RFA opens

December 13th            TA Competition Webinar #1 for jurisdictions and organizations



January 13th                TA Competition Webinar #2 for jurisdictions and organizations

January 30th                TA Competition Webinar #3 for jurisdictions and organizations

January 31st                Letter of Intent due (optional)


February 3rd    Teams submitting Letters of Intent are posted to website to facilitate collaboration

February 17th              Applications due


March 6th-9th              TA finalist interviews

March 27th                  Notices of decisions emailed to applicants



Government Performance Lab


Grantee Mission

The Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (GPL) conducts research on how governments can accelerate progress in addressing difficult social problems and improve the results they obtain with their social spending.

About the Awards

To date, the GPL has worked with more than 30 jurisdictions throughout the United States. States, counties, and cities receiving GPL TA have launched 9 of the 13 pay for success (PFS) projects using social impact bonds (SIBs) in the country.

Recently, the GPL has been piloting a model of intensive technical assistance for jurisdictions interested in improving the results they achieve with their core human services spending. In these pilots, the GPL has embedded teams of 4-6 GPL fellows within an executive office or set of agencies, and have helped agency staff implement performance improvement strategies including identification of key outcomes and metrics for measuring them, using data to match the right individuals to the right services, performance management strategies that include real-time response to performance metrics, alignment of government-provider incentives through performance payments, and rigorous evaluation of program impacts. This model has yielded promising results and the GPL will be making this form of technical assistance more broadly available. 

The GPL is now accepting applications for two types of projects: 1) Performance improvement projects that aim to enhance the results achieved with core government social service spending, and 2) Pay for Success (PFS) projects using social impact bonds (SIBs).

Request for proposals

Application form



  • October 17th, 2016 at 2pm ET—GPL will host a webinar for interested parties

  • November 7th, 2016—deadline for applications for consideration in round one of awards

  • December 2016—round one awards announced

  • March 15th, 2017—deadline for applications for consideration in round two of awards

  • By April 30th, 2017—round two awards announced

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