Social Innovation Fund Competitions

Third Sector is Currently Delivering Federally-Funded Pay for Success Services Nationwide to Fourteen Sub-Recipients of the Social Innovation Fund


The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a key White House initiative and program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), combines public and private resources to grow the impact of innovative, community-based solutions that have compelling evidence of improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States.

In 2014, Third Sector was awarded $1.9 million to deliver Pay for Success (PFS) technical assistance and feasibility assessments to governments interested in performance-based solutions. Third Sector has since held 2 PFS Competitions, selecting a total of 14 sub-recipients to receive feasibility and technical assistance.

Read our Cohort Updates


SIF Cohort 1

In 2015, Third Sector awarded seven awardees to receive federally funded technical assistance to assess the feasibility of implementing a Pay for Success project.

Awardees received assistance for interventions in Texas, California, Virginia, Nevada, Oregon, Washington State, in addition to national programs.


SIF Cohort 2: Workforce Development

Third Sector awarded an additional five awardees to receive federally funded Pay for Success feasibility and technical assistance to strengthen workforce development programs throughout the United States.

Workforce development boards in Austin, Boston, Denver, San Diego, and Northern Virginia are currently receiving assistance to explore how Pay for Success can strengthen their programing.


Third Sector has partnered with leading national organizations that will assist in developing our competition, conducting outreach efforts, sharing lessons learned and delivering services to Sub-Recipients.

America Forward is a national non-partisan policy initiative, spearheaded by the nonprofit social innovation organization and venture philanthropy fund New Profit, Inc. We unite national policymakers with innovators who lead high-impact and results-driven organizations, to advance a public policy agenda that champions innovative and effective solutions to our country’s most pressing social problems.

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.

Abt will provide evaluation and programmatic experts who will work alongside Third Sector staff in delivering Technical Assistance, thus not only benefiting the Sub-Recipients, but also building other partners’ capacity to bring PFS expertise to their much wider audience of governmental leaders.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, an action tank within NLC, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo assists America’s 3,069 counties in pursuing excellence in public service to produce healthy, vibrant, safe and resilient counties. NACo promotes sound public policies, fosters county solutions and innovation, promotes intergovernmental and public-private collaboration and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money.

NLC, NACo, and America Forward will educate their constituencies about the benefits of PFS and the opportunities presented by the SIF PFS project. They also bring a cadre of experts in governmental structure and the SIF priority program issue areas to assist in providing high quality technical assistance. This partnership will ensure that these organizations’ resources and insights are brought to bear in building the knowledge base necessary to scale PFS Social Impact Financing nationally.

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Corporation for National and Community Service
Social Innovation Fund PFS Competition

On June 26, 2014, SIF released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) of up to $12 million for the 2014 SIF PFS grant competition. Congress wanted an agency to do an honest, impartial experiment about Pay for Success as a solution and to learn more about where and how it works best. Grantees will focusing on funding solutions in SIF’s priority areas of economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. Furthermore, SIF’s goal with its Pay for Success competition was to accelerate the Pay for Success field by diversifying the sector, in terms of social issue areas, geographies and implementing organizations.

SIF selected grantees to implement projects in one of two approaches: 1) Provide Technical Assistance to Assess Feasibility and Develop PFS Capacity or 2) Structure PFS Transactions. Third Sector was awarded $1.9 million to do the former.