A surfeit of interesting nuggets this morning including a handy video, happy scrolling…
In the past year, multiple social impact bonds have been launched. The initial deals have been time-consuming, complex, and highly customized. There is hope, however, for a streamlined, repeatable process that will bring creative financing and scale to organizations with proven impact. Dive into a discussion of the toughest challenges and pivotal turning points so far, as well as the innovations and best practices that will lead to more efficient dealmaking.
House Holds Hearing On Social Impact Bonds
Patrick Lester – Social Innovation Center
Legislation that would provide additional federal support for social impact bonds (SIB) took a tentative step forward today when a House subcommittee held a hearing focused on their potential benefits and tradeoffs.
The bill being considered, the Social Impact Bond Act (H.R. 4885), has drawn bipartisan sponsorship from Reps. Todd Young (R-IN) and John Delaney (D-MD). But the spirit of bipartisanship was less evident during the hearing itself, where Democrats were generally more skeptical and Republicans more supportive of the social impact bond idea.
Rep. Todd Young Introduces Social Impact Bond Act In The Ways & Means Committee
Rachel Bunn – Hoosier Herald
Rep. Todd Young spoke on the floor of the Ways and Means Committee in support of the Social Impact Bond Act, a bill he introduced earlier this year that would provide public-private partnerships for social programs.
It’s an idea that has been utilized in the United Kingdom, with some success. The federal government would establish desirable outcomes for social issues that would both improve lives and save government money. State and local governments would then submit plans to get to those outcomes using proven existing programs, with private sector investors providing the capital to expand the programs. If outcomes are met, investors would get back their initial investment plus a small return of the government savings.
After our panel last week at the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference in San Francisco, a colleague tweeted a photoshopped image of me and Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund, as Batman and Robin, respectively. While the order should have been reversed (me Robin, he Batman) – as Antony literally coined the term “impact investing” in 2007 while working at the Rockefeller Foundation – either way it was a thrill to force multiply each other’s message.
What was the message? Fundamentally, when targeting grossly underserved markets with private-sector approaches and investment strategies, it is important not to oversell or over-promise that lots of good and deep impact can occur without real risk or cost, and in some cases, even significant, well-targeted subsidy.