This highly informative case analysis provides a detailed account of just how much hard work among multiple parties is involved in Pay for Success and Social Impact Bond Financing. The case focuses on ROCA, a Chelsea, MA based nonprofit working to help young people move out of poverty and violence, and the State of Massachusetts’ procurement process for its Pay for Success initiative.
This case provides a rare first-hand account of how a high-performing effective organization navigated the pre-feasibility stage. The experiences featured in the case highlight the complexity of preparing a service provider to participate in this social finance innovation. Reading this case, practitioners from all sub-sectors will learn how to prepare their organization to be a strong candidate for future Pay for Success opportunities. What emerges from this case is a summary of the mix of organizational and institutional qualities that need to be in place to even begin to see Pay for Success as a viable option for an organization, these qualities include: a rigorous way to evaluate impact, a strong cost-benefit analysis, a service provider that can scale with quality, government partners that are willing to engage deeply, investors and boards that have an appetite to understand new financial constructs, and a willingness by all parties to keep communicating as the process moves forward.