Social Innovation Fund: Cohort 2

State executive offices, state workforce agencies, and local workforce boards are receiving technical assistance to advance Pay for Performance projects in youth workforce development.

Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. (Third Sector), a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund’s (SIF) Pay for Success (PFS) program, received seven applications from governments who are interested in using Pay for Performance and the new WIOA legislation to improve outcomes for youth. The ultimate goal of this process is to enable jurisdictions to support the testing and scaling of high-impact youth workforce development strategies, direct limited resources toward programs that work and build pathways to attract additional resources that will result in long-term improvements in employment and earnings.

- SIF Cohort 2 -
Workforce Development

Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WFS) in Austin, TX partnered with Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. (Third Sector), the Youth Employment Partnership (YEP), and the Austin Opportunity Youth Collaborative (AOYC), in addition to other community partners, to create a model that centers on innovative partnership between companies and non-profit service providers. The goal is ultimately to unite companies with non-profit service providers who lack the resources to reach a critical mass of youth with programs that provide support and help improve connections. The model created allows employers to utilize the YEP to find and retain talent for entry-level positions and the YEP to serve more youth. Specifically, this model allows private employers to communicate their needs for specific positions, hire well-trained YEP youth that meet their needs, pay the YEP for the youth’s performance at the company, and contribute to a stronger feedback loop between the company and YEP. WFS administers Austin’s Workforce Innovation Act (WIOA) funding and WFS has established a contract with the YEP for the entirety of WIOA funds dedicated to youth programming.

Summer Youth Employment Programs (SYEPs) are an integral part of youth workforce programming for cities across the country. In the City of Boston, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD) has partnered with Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. (Third Sector) and Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy (Dukakis Center) to ensure that SYEP is a meaningful experience that measurably enhances outcomes for the young people engaged. In this feasibility project, Dukakis Center’s multi-year evaluation was leveraged to improve our understanding of the Boston SYEP’s impact on criminal justice, education, and employment outcomes. It was deduced prior to the project starting that this work had the potential to help cities around the country, each operating their own SYEP, to orient funding and contracting towards outcomes. Within the year, Third Sector worked with numerous stakeholders, including government agencies, researchers, providers, funders, and employers, to understand Boston SYEP goals and opportunities to integrate an outcomes orientation.

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) — which administers government funded workforce development programs and serves as an employment and training resource for employers, job seekers, TANF recipients, veterans, and youth throughout Denver — was interested in exploring how outcomes-oriented contracting strategies could increase workforce programs’ focus on at-risk populations and offer vulnerable youth the connections and supports need to access and truly thrive in post-secondary career pathways. In 2016, OED sought technical assistance from Third Sector to assess opportunities to leverage outcomes-oriented contracting and new “Pay for Performance” (P4P) legislation under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to measurably improve the lives of Denver’s out-of-school youth. The feasibility assessment that occurred over the following year enabled OED to develop a shared language and understanding around outcomes-oriented contracting and offered a set of resources that can help inform the organization’s services transition and better position it to pursue P4P implementation at a later date.

The SkillSource Group, Inc. (SkillSource) partnered with Third Sector Capital Partners (Third Sector) and ICF International (ICF) to explore opportunities in Pay for Performance (P4P) contracting strategies in an effort to measurably improve outreach, as well as education and employment outcomes, for foster care and justice-involved youth in Northern Virginia. SkillSource, Third Sector, ICF, and government partners have completed a feasibility assessment and SkillSource is launching a P4P pilot focused on reaching and improving employment and education outcomes for foster care and justice-involved individuals in Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun County, ages 18-24. Match funding for this project has been provided by the Fairfax County, the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and the First Virginia Community Bank.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) is committed to measurably improving outcomes for youth and young adults, ages 16-24, involved in the justice system in San Diego County. SDWP is exploring the opportunity to combine the new flexible Pay for Performance (P4P) funding in the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), evaluation, and performance-driven service provision to improve employment, education, and recidivism outcomes for these youth. San Diego is engaged in a P4P feasibility assessment with the following partners: Third Sector, who provides project facilitation, coordination, & TA; Probation Dept., who serves as a data source; Second Chance, the selected provider with expertise in serving justice-involved youth; and SANDAG, the project validator with experience in criminal justice research and evaluation.

SIF Award Partners

Third Sector has partnered with leading national organizations that 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.

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.

SIF Competition 1

View our first cohort of SIF Sub-Recipients

Corporation for National and Community Service

Social Innovation Fund PFS Competition

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) was a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service that received funding from 2010 to 2016. Using public and private resources to find and grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of results, SIF intermediaries received funding to award subgrants that focus on overcoming challenges in economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. Although CNCS made its last SIF intermediary awards in fiscal year 2016, SIF intermediaries will continue to administer their subgrant programs until their federal funding is exhausted.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is the federal agency for volunteering, service, and civic engagement. The agency engages millions of Americans in citizen service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the nation's volunteering and service efforts. For more information, visit

Launched in 2014, the SIF Pay for Success (PFS) program was designed to help cities, states, and nonprofits develop Pay for Success projects where governments pay service providers only when there are demonstrable results.

In 2009, President Obama authorized the creation of the Social Innovation Fund 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 (PFS) program was designed to help cities, states, and nonprofits develop Pay for Success projects where governments pay service providers only when there are demonstrable results.

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.