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Report – Understanding Innovation Funds, Impact Bonds, and Impact Investing

Social Finance: A Primer Understanding Innovation Funds, Impact Bonds, and Impact Investing By Sonal Shah and Kristina Costa | November 5, 2013 [snipped]

“In recent years, a growing number of philanthropic foundations, policymakers, social service providers, and researchers have come to recognize that the social sector is changing. Shrinking public-sector budgets have limited traditional government grant programs. An increasing number of private funders have created financial models that pay for performance and emphasize the importance of and need for evidence. And complex social challenges such as criminal recidivism, poor school performance, homelessness, and chronic health conditions, with their panoply of causes and effects, seem to resist nearly every attempt to solve them. These issues have given rise to the creation of new models of partnership between the public, nonprofit, and private sectors that focus on achieving results. The status quo in the social sector simply cannot hold. One in five American children lives in poverty. More than 600,000 people were homeless on one night in January 2012 when the Department of Housing and Urban Development last conducted its census for the Annual Homeless Assessment Report. Nearly 100,000 of those people were chronically homeless, meaning they had been continuously homeless for at least a year or had been homeless at least four times in the past three years. Many long-term homeless individuals are single adults, but homelessness among families is a growing problem in some localities or municipalities. For instance, 1 in 100 children in New York City today does not have a permanent home. There are approximately 133 million Americans suffering from a chronic illness, including 7.1 million children with asthma. Up to 73 percent of low-income children with asthma do not receive proper treatment.”

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