Pay for Success Administrative Data Program

In this moment of rapid technological advance, the Center on Poverty and Inequality is bringing together the country’s best minds in science, technology, service, and government to build a 21st century research and development infrastructure for solving poverty, reducing inequality, and increasing mobility. The Pay for Success Administrative Data Program is a central component in this infrastructure. 

The CPI has partnered with Third Sector Capital Partners to build an administrative-data framework for measuring and evaluating the success of social service programs designed to reduce poverty and inequality. The program is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF), The Ballmer Group, and the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.

The new infrastructure links administrative tax data with Census data and will allow social policy innovators to avoid the well-known problems that plague survey-based assessments. In collaboration with researchers at the Center on Poverty and Inequality, service providers will be able to monitor not just the immediate effects of their programs but also the long-run effects as well as effects on children.

In addition to building out the new infrastructure for measuring results, the CPI and Third Sector will hold an open competition to select three Pay for Success providers focusing on projects that provide economic opportunity in California, Oregon, or Washington. There is a particularly pressing need for Pay for Success projects in California, which has an SPM poverty rate of 21%, the highest in the country. 

Pay for Success is a new model for funding social services, in which government funds policy innovations only if these programs deliver on their stated outcomes. Often, impact investors finance the upfront costs of service delivery. This spreads the risk between government and the private sector and protects taxpayers from paying for programs that don’t work. In 2014, the Social Innovation Fund reinforced its commitment to support innovative solutions and change how public and private sector investors allocate philanthropic resources by launching its SIF Pay for Success program. This $30-plus million grantmaking initiative was designed to help cities, states, and nonprofits develop PFS projects, which tie funding for social services to its true impact in the community.

Informational Webinars

Third Sector and the CPI hosted an initial informational webinar to introduce the Administrative Data Pilot grant opportunity. The webinar covered: who is eligible to apply, the types of projects suitable for services, and key dates and milestones for the project. Please click here to view the webinar recording, or click here to view a copy of the presentation slides. A second webinar focused on reviewing the selection criteria and the scoring rubric used for application evaluation. Please click here to view the webinar recording, or click here to view a copy of the presentation slides.

Application Materials

Application Guide
Application Form
Frequently Asked Questions

Key Dates

January 9, 2017 – Application released
January 25, 2017 – Letters of Interest due (optional but recommended)
February 17, 2017 – Applications due

Additional Information

To learn more, please see:
Stanford Report article
CPI press release
CNCS announcement


For more information, please visit the project website.