The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (SF Fed) and Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) have partnered to explore what it takes for nonprofits, funders, and government to achieve outcomes and focus on the root causes of social problems. Through this campaign, we hope to help people build relationships, gain fresh perspective on outcomes, and access tools and strategies to turn ideas on outcomes into action.
The greatest hope of those who work in the social sector—from nonprofits, to philanthropy, to government—is to make a positive long-term impact on their communities. But that hope is sometimes hampered by a funding system oriented around counting "outputs." For example, a health center is more likely to receive funding based on an "output" like the number of times it provides treatment, rather than an "outcome" like how many patients get healthier as a result of its services.
Over the last decade, the chorus of voices challenging this status quo has grown. They ask: What would it take to design our systems around outcomes? If we did, could we eradicate preventable social problems that affect so many? NFF and the SF Fed believe that outcomes matter, and that our funding systems must change for nonprofits to achieve long-term progress. By sharing knowledge, providing tools, and building networks focused on these ideas, we believe that we can help accelerate that change.
NFF and the SF Fed created a campaign around the following activities to bring together people with different points of view for conversation and collaboration:
- The Book: What Matters: Investing in Results to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities is a collection of essays exploring the opportunities and challenges of reorienting our systems around achieving outcomes.
- Podcast: Listen to our podcast series featuring social sector leaders on topics like measuring outcomes, funding with unrestricted operating support, and building trust into nonprofit-funder relationships.
- Events: Our events—in partnership with local communities—offered opportunities for people to learn in real time, grow their networks, and build partnerships.
- Blogs: Check out our blog and Outcomes in Action for insights and lessons from the field and through the first-hand experiences of practitioners.
About the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (SF Fed)
The SF Fed promotes low inflation, full employment and financial stability, and provide services to financial institutions and the Treasury. Visit frbsf.org for more information.
About Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF)
NFF advances missions and social progress through financing, consulting, partnerships, and knowledge-sharing that empower leaders, organizations, and ideas. Visit nff.org to learn more.