Social Finance

Region of Impact
United States
Total funding
$750,000
Funding began in
2017
Focus
Economic Opportunity

Overview

Mobilizing capital to drive social progress

What they do

A 2011 report, Pathways to Prosperity, estimated that less than half of young Americans reach their mid-twenties with the skills and credentials needed to succeed in the 21st Century economy. Disparities in educational attainment disproportionately affect low-income youth and students of color. Given this skills gap, there is an increasing focus on scaling evidence-based models that help prepare low-income and minority students for college and careers, enable students to earn postsecondary credentials, and tie education and training of lower-skilled adults to the needs of regional employers.

Social Finance hopes to transform the way government supports education, by driving dollars toward non-profit programs that help more students get career-ready. Through the Pay-for-Success model, local governments partner with nonprofits, who scale their services with up-front capital from impact investors. If the project successfully improves outcomes for participants, the government repays investors with a modest return. Taxpayer dollars are only spent if the program helps to produce measurable outcomes, like employment and increased earnings. By helping more state and local governments utilize Pay-for-Success, Social Finance aims to expand access to opportunities for those in vulnerable communities.

How we're helping

Google.org's contribution to Social Finance will help support the development of Pay-for-Success projects dedicated to programs that prepare underserved youth for the workforce. The first phase of this work will be to identify high-quality career and technical education programs that have the potential to improve outcomes for youth in their community. Social Finance will work with select programs to raise capital and scale their impact.

Project gallery

A Social Finance field worker shows an open book to two minority students

More economic opportunity projects