That was a low point in my nonprofit career. I felt helpless and hopeless. I came closer to quitting than at any other time I had had to deal with this kind of self defeating situation (which actually happens all the time in the nonprofit world, unfortunately). So, I read some books, sought out mentors, and signed up to chair the Advocacy Committee for The Nonprofit Council.
I hear more than ever now about how we need to improve outcomes, and it always makes me think of that RFP. No one cared about the outcomes in that situation and it became a microcosmic illustration of the problem for me. It was particularly frustrating because there didn't really seem to be any real solution on the horizon.
And then I heard about Pay For Success: an innovative approach for addressing persistent social problems.
- The funder invests in the organizations with the most effective models.
- The organizations with the most effective models implement their programs and services, with results.
- The government pays the funder back with revenue that was saved as a result of effective programs.
This is scary for a lot of people. As you can imagine, it's a hard sell to ask organizations to spend money and risk not getting reimbursed for it. This post is a really simple explanation for a very complex program, but that's the gist of if. We cant' afford to spend billion of dollars every year in the social sector and not solve any problems. Pay for Success is the wave of the future and I for one am thrilled! You can read more about the pay of pay for success here.
I'll be writing more about this in 2017 since the annual Issue in Profile event put on by the Nonprofit Council in October will feature a keynote on this topic. Stay tuned.