Celebrating the California Pay for Success Initiative

September 19, 2017

Oakland – On September 15, 2017, The James Irvine Foundation and Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) convened over 70 social sector leaders from across California to celebrate the achievements and discuss building on the remarkable lessons of the California Pay for Success Initiative. Launched in 2014, the initiative was designed to help nonprofit and government leaders launch Pay for Success (PFS) projects in the state. With the right investments and cross-sector support, Pay for Success (PFS) and outcomes-based approaches more broadly have the potential to transform our social sector by aligning resources with better outcomes for our communities.

Leaders from several CA PFS projects shared stories of impact on individuals and communities resulting from the initiative, such as the disruption of inter-generational poverty for residents living in San Francisco’s most dilapidated public housing projects through HOPE SF, which offers preventative services in workforce development, housing, public health, and human services, or a new, holistic approach to addressing recidivism through the Alameda County Justice Project.

"Fr. Boyle of Homeboy Industries says "nothing stops a bullet faster than a job." When Community Activist Tim Smith repeated that statement to me, a lightbulb went off in my head. That's what we have to do, provide a pathway for a better life. Under the leadership of my Office, we are changing the paradigm from simply supervision-based probation, to building outcomes of success."

Nancy O’Malley, District Attorney for Alameda County

Friday’s convening also celebrated the release of the initiative’s capstone report, “Pay for Success Scorecard: Lessons from the Vanguard of the Outcomes Movement,” which shares insights from 25 California PFS stakeholders – representing government, service providers, philanthropy, and intermediaries – and offers perspective on how to rethink the way we plan, purchase, and fund social services to meet growing needs with limited resources.

Two women and a small child sitting on the ground facing the camera

"Pay for Success approaches have forged new opportunities for people to respond to pressing social challenges across the country. The exploration of Pay for Success projects in California has demonstrated how outcomes-based funding models can create positive change by aligning the efforts and resources of governments, community providers, and investors toward shared goals of individual and community transformation."

Jessica LaBarbera, Vice President of Strategic Innovation at NFF

Speakers included: Don Howard, President and CEO, The James Irvine Foundation; Nancy O’Malley, District Attorney, Alameda County; Rashmi Khare, Director, Social Finance; Saidah Leatutufu, Economic Mobility Director, HopeSF, Office of the Mayor, City and County of San Francisco; Laura Wolff, Regional Operations Director, Telecare; Whitney Lawrence, Program Manager, County of Los Angeles; Kavita Narayan, Lead Deputy County Counsel, County of Santa Clara; Christina Altmayer, Vice President of Programs, First 5 LA; Ian Galloway, Director of the Center for Community Development Investments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Rebecca Foster, Executive Director, San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund; and Connie Malloy, Portfolio Director, The James Irvine Foundation.

To see more highlights from the event, here's a recap on Storify!

For more on Pay for Success, visit our Invest in Result page, and follow the conversation on outcomes at investinresults.org.

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