This report is an attempt to shed new light on one of the most difficult challenges in the social sector: achieving sustainable funding at meaningful scale. Working with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and four of their grantees, we explored the question: how can nonprofits prepare themselves—and their data, evidence, and outcomes—for the next generation of government funding?
At Social Finance, we believe that far more public resources should flow toward evidence-based, results-driven solutions—and that such resources should be invested at scale, driving meaningful results across communities. As foundations and nonprofits adjust to this new environment, governments will gain better results for each dollar spent, and organizations with reliably strong results will gain sustainable funding.
Making the shift to results-oriented funding will require new investments for nonprofits: investments in program consistency and quality, data systems, evaluations, and performance management. Increasingly, only those organizations with the capacity to credibly articulate their social and economic value to government decisionmakers will receive meaningful government funding.
The purpose of this report is to explore how four nonprofits, all funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, approach this coming shift, and to apply the principles of Pay for Success to each in order to help them prepare for growth via outcomes-oriented government funding streams.