February 18, 2020
Boston Nonprofits Get $225K for Pay for Success Project

May 1, 2015 — Two Boston nonprofits, Jewish Vocational Service, which provides skills training, education, job placement, and career development support, and Social Finance, have been jointly awarded $225,000 as part of a federal effort to advance adult basic education in Massachusetts.

The funding announced yesterday, provided from the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), is designed to improve adult basic education through the implementation of a pay for success project.

Pay for success is an innovative funding model that drives government resources toward social programs which provide measurable results to the people who need them most by identifying strong service providers that can deliver high-quality, preventative programs with pre-defined, target community outcomes.

The Massachusetts Adult Basic Education Initiative, a project of Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) in partnership with Social Finance, is designed to serve nearly 2,500 adult learners from Greater Boston, where large concentrations of immigrants and long waitlists for English language instruction are significant barriers to employment.

“We are honored to receive this competitive grant supporting our efforts to connect adult learners in Massachusetts with good jobs and increased wages”, commented Jerry Rubin, CEO of JVS. “Tracking the success of our graduates and seeing how they contribute to the state’s economy is one of the most exciting aspects of pay for success.”

Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance, said, “Pay for success represents a sustainable way to address social challenges at a scale that meaningfully meets the demands of society and to direct resources to organizations with a proven track record. We are pleased to partner with the Commonwealth and JVS to advance this important initiative.”

The JVS-Social Finance program will combine vocational training, contextualized English for Speakers of Other Languages instruction, college readiness, and employment assistance. Potential measurable outcomes include increased earnings, improved employment, and post-secondary enrollment.

“We extend our congratulations to JVS and Social Finance on this important award, and look forward to working together to implement this first in the nation Social Innovation Bond for Adult Basic Education,” stated Gov. Charlie Baker. “Pay for success is an important new tool to enhance state resources, and fund and deliver services that are proven to work.”

In pay for success programs, mission-driven investors cover the upfront costs of delivering programs. If predetermined goals are achieved, as measured by an independent evaluator, the government repays those who made the original investment for programs that have effectively addressed community issues.

In 2014, NFF received a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund to help strengthen the pipeline of state and local governments and service providers prepared to implement pay for success projects across the country. JVS’s award is one of five initial subgrants from NFF’s Social Innovation Fund allocation, designed to address areas of social need including economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development.

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