The daily discussion remains at a fairly introductory level but it is encouraging to see the message expanding around the world, here are today’s stories:
It’s no secret that nonprofits are always looking for new funding sources. Most social programs find that resources just don’t keep up with demand for services. Fifty percent of nonprofits surveyed by the Nonprofit Finance Fund said they can’t meet the current demand — and demand is soaring.
Social sector leaders know they must look for ways to change their approach to raising capital if they’re going to thrive or even survive. Just “getting by” is not an option for them — “tried and true” fundraising doesn’t work in the new reality.
Unfortunately, cities have few effective ways to fight blight. Although cities want to reduce the number and impact of blighted places and have owners of vacant or underutilized properties clean them up, they must tread cautiously. The worst case scenario is that they use too big a hammer, the owner walks away, and the burden is left to the city to develop and maintain these spaces.
But there may be a new tool in the war on blight: a relatively new financial instrument known as thesocial impact bond (SIB). The idea behind SIBs is that private investors, not the government, bear the risk for large-scale, pricey endeavors designed to build and maintain America’s social service infrastructure.
St Giles Trust believes charities can play a bigger role in future criminal justice services. We welcome justice secretary Chris Grayling’sannouncement last week that supervision for prisoners sentenced to less than a year will be extended. A snapshot of offending history into 165 very vulnerable women using our resettlement services showed that they had an average of 32 previous convictions each. We employ specially trained, carefully managed, reformed ex-offenders. Their credibility means we can reach the most disengaged individuals who are caught in a vicious cycle of prison, homelessness and reoffending – and help to rebuild their lives in a way that anyone who has not been in prison would struggle to do.
The new reforms will open up more than 70% of probation work to the private and voluntary sectors, as part of a rehabilitation plan for prisoners leaving jail, giving us and others an opportunity to reach more people who need our support.
The new social-impact bonds—also known as pay-for-success contracts—use private-sector money to run prevention programs that would save the government money down the road. Taxpayers reimburse investors only if a program saves money compared with government services, bringing market discipline to the social sector and, advocates hope, attracting long-term funding to proven interventions. After Rikers, the first SIB contract in the United States, others followed: President Obama requested $485 million for SIBs in his last budget, and several federal agencies have already made money available, including $20 million from the Labor Department. Massachusetts has authorized $50 million to finance two social-impact bonds, New York state has requested suggestions, and Illinois plans to do the same.