Social Impact Bonds – Insight by Social Investors

sibDuring our ‘Unpacking Social Impact Bonds – Meet the Investors’ event on 17th June, our social investors from Big Issue Invest , Bridges Ventures and CAF Venturesome shared essential learning and tips for preparing and securing investment for outcome performance-related projects.

Overall, it was agreed that SIBs provide an opportunity for organisations to find new ways of delivering social outcomes, with the operational freedom to innovate and gain insights into what works well.

During the event, each investor identified key areas of learning and agreed on some key points:

  1. How does the payment mechanism incentivise everyone to maximise social impact for beneficiaries throughout the project? is it fair and clear to all partners, team members, referral routes etc.?
  2. Does the project team contain the right set of skills? – it should include project management, experts in social policy, delivery and operations, entrepreneurial attitude to change, data analysis and strong governance.
  3. Does the intervention have an evidence base of success? your organisation will need to demonstrate credibility, relationships and proof to show it can deliver.
  4. Is there market demand and need to scale up the service? Are there clear and evidenced referral pathways to attract the right beneficiaries and what evidence do you have that there is a sufficient number of referrals.
  5. Can your organisation pass commercial due diligence? – Can your organisation demonstrate financial sustainability, operational efficiency, quality control, and performance?
  6. Is it a clear, simple and sound partnership structure? – Ensure and where possible demonstrate all stakeholders can work together effectively.
  7. Demonstrate effective processes and systems to capture data and analyse performance – Bridges Ventures summed up four key areas for data analysis in the diagram below.


Finally, the importance of robust data management was re-iterated. Having a good system in place is essential for providing the real-time reporting required to manage the outcomes and performance of a programme.  As David Brinsford,  Business Analyst at Big Issue Invest articulated: “If you can control the data, you can control the outcomes”.

Economic Change spoke about it’s services and track record in helping our clients to become contract and investment ready for outcome-performance-related contracts.

We highlighted 4 key areas of improvements made by our clients:

  1. Collection of more detailed customer information, tracking customer journeys and evidencing excellent customer service.
  2. Reviewing and implementing lean management processes to reduce administration and improve data security.
  3. Collecting well defined output and outcome data to demonstrate performance with a revised Theory of Change model and Impact Monitoring Framework.
  4. Implementing client management information systems using Salesforce CRM to collect and analyse referral, output and outcome data.

If you would like to discuss how we can support you to implement the four key areas above then contact Alex Ritchie at to arrange a free consultation and possible sources of funding available.

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