There is mounting pressure on government to provide funding for social services; however, due to budget constraints and complex social issues, this has become a challenge (Social, 2014). With the increase of poverty, behavioral and mental health issues in America, the status quo in the social sector simply will not hold (Shah, 2013). In 2013, fourteen percent of Americans were living below the poverty line (Gongloff, 2014), with one in five children living in poverty (Shah, 2013, p.2). In 2011, under President Obama, the US government decided to try a different method in assisting the high demand for social services, social innovation financing (Goldmark, 2011). This paper focuses on the technology of social impact bonds, which falls under Pay for Success financing (Shah, 2013). Using a case study design, it is investigated if outcomes-based reimbursement drives great efficiency, innovation and impact in tackling social problems. Through a deeper dive, exploration of reimbursing social programs based on their outcomes is an attractive model to investors and to what extent stakeholders feel that the SIB will lead to great innovation or efficiency. To do this, one of New York States’ Pay for Success awardees was analyzed -- the Intensive Community Asset Program (I-CAP), which creates alternatives for Family Court Judges and Probation officers who seek to avoid placement of youth into high cost institutional settings (James-Wilson, 2014). The changing landscape of government funding of social programming, multi-stakeholder financing strategies are becoming the new trend in nonprofit funding. This report provides a more robust learning on this new funding mechanism.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Public welfare--New York (State); Evidence-based social work

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Public Policy (CLA)


Sandra Rothenberg

Advisor/Committee Member

Franz Foltz

Advisor/Committee Member

Deborah Blizzard


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes