MDRC Offering Technical Assistance on Social Impact Bonds
Date:  05-13-2013

Up to four organizations to receive technical assistance in pursuit of SIB financing
The following press release was issued by MDRC.

MDRC Offers Technical Assistance on Social Impact Bonds 04/2013

A Social Impact Bond (SIB) is a new tool for attracting private investment to finance social programs. SIBs are viewed by many government agencies and philanthropic organizations as a promising way to reduce the risks associated with funding public programs and increase accountability. In many cases, SIBs seek to bring together private and public investment to help reduce the burden on cash-strapped government budgets. MDRC is seeking applications from parties interested in receiving technical assistance about implementing SIBs. Why MDRC?

As the intermediary that designed and is implementing the first operational SIB in the United States, MDRC has gained unique hands-on knowledge about how to set up a SIB and avoid the pitfalls that can arise as stakeholders seek to negotiate the complexities of this financing structure.(Click here to go to website.) We want to use our SIB experience and substantial knowledge of social programs to help organizations identify potential risks and benefits of their chosen strategy and to increase the likelihood of successful SIB endeavors. With funding provided by the Annie E. Casey and George Gund Foundations, MDRC is pleased to offer a limited amount of free technical assistance to up to four organizations as they pursue SIB approaches to financing social programs.

What kinds of technical assistance will MDRC provide?

Technical assistance will be based on the needs of the applicant organization and can include a limited range of activities, such as explaining the SIB concept to key decision-makers, working with government agencies to develop pay-back strategies, estimating potential impacts and cost-savings, providing input into scenarios for structuring the SIB arrangement, reviewing evaluation designs, and assisting with intervention planning.

What are the criteria for selection?

There are no hard requirements to apply for MDRC’s technical assistance. Through this solicitation, MDRC seeks to increase awareness of how SIBs can be used to spur innovation, build knowledge, and improve accountability. Therefore, preference will be given to applications that include an innovative intervention with potential for operating on a large scale, use of evaluation to increase knowledge about what works for disadvantaged populations, and a committed government partner.

How do I apply?

To apply for technical assistance, submit a short proposal (three-page limit) that describes the following:

  • The location or locations of the potential SIB.

  • The applicant’s role in the potential SIB.

  • The chosen intervention and any evidence of its effectiveness.

  • Whether there is a committed local or state government partner for the project and the role of that partner.

  • Other partners involved in the potential SIB project.

  • Plans for evaluation as part of the SIB.

  • Any resources that have been secured for financing the program, intermediary, or evaluation costs.

  • Projections or modeling of pay-back accounting, program scale, key outcomes, and necessary investment.

  • The role of the intermediary and whether an intermediary has been chosen. Questions about submissions should be directed to Elisa Nicoletti at

    Completed applications should be sent to Janae Bonsu at and will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. MDRC will respond within 60 days of receipt of the application. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2013.
  • Click here to read more.