Social Impact Bond Funds: “Getting Rich Doing Good”

Bridge Meadows | Portland, OR

Here are two articles that, taken collectively, point to a way to get human services costs under control on a purely results-based financial model.   By connecting a measureable social outcome – one that can demonstrate real public cost savings – with a profit motive, both investors and tax payers are winners. 

In the article above, The Oregonian has praised the Bridge Meadows project Guardian Real Estate Services developed for the non-profit owner/operator.  The program will without question demonstrate real savings in myriad components of our social services delivery system.  These savings will be realized when the foster children served by the program do not continue as recipients of assistance from public sector services throughout much, if not all, of their lives.  Multiple studies show the heavy long-term costs associated with a high percentage of children who have been in the foster care system.  If, as could occur with implementation of a Social Impact Bond approach as described in the article below, only a portion of that documented savings was returned to bond investors it could stimulate investors to provide the capital funds to replicate the Bridge Meadows model throughout the state.
Implementing something like the Social Impact Bond program will be a difficult political sell, but I am willing to roll up my sleeves to take on that sales job.  I know many others would be as well. 

Getting Rich Doing Good By Thomas K. Grose, London. 
J. Daniel Steffey
Senior Vice President, Development