In the Press




June 6, 2019


The Ivory Prize: The Importance of Innovation to Improve Housing Affordability

by Abby Ivory, Manager, Sorenson Impact and Director, Ivory Innovations, & Kent W. Colton, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University and President, The Colton Housing Group


December 21, 2018

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)A Playbook for Designing Social Impact Measurement

Thinking about social impact measurement on a spectrum can help organizations develop a clear, evidence-based idea of how or why their programs work.



October 19, 2018

The National Council on Family RelationsSocial Services Professionals' Views of Barriers to Supporting Homeless Noncustodial Fathers

Tiana N. Rogers, a manager on the data, policy, and performance innovation team at the Sorenson Impact Center authored the article “Social Services Professionals' Views of Barriers to Supporting Homeless Noncustodial Fathers,” which investigates the barriers to service for homeless noncustodial fathers from the perspective of social service professionals who work directly to assist men with securing housing while meeting the demands of fatherhood.



October 10, 2018

BrookingsThe Evaluation Roadmap for Optimizing Pre-K Programs

Janis Dubno, a managing director of data, policy, and performance innovation at the Sorenson Impact Center contributed to the Brookings report analyzing the optimization of pre-K programs.



August 28, 2018

JPMorgan Chase & CoThe Status of Utah’s Female and Minority Small Business Owners

This report aims to define the market for women and minority run businesses in the state of Utah as well as provide recommendations for how this market could be strengthened. It contains an analysis of the underrepresentation of females and minorities among Utah business ownership, and concludes with a series of recommendations to stakeholders and investors, which aim to move Utah business ownership toward a more equitable state, with stronger representation for women and minorities.



July 11, 2017

MIT Press Journals—Pay for Success as a Policy Tool

We hope that successful collaborative partnerships like that between Salt Lake County and the Sorenson Impact Center will help advance other efforts around the nation to reduce recidivism and homelessness...


Media Hits


October 9, 2019


Utah home building executive Clark Ivory, ceo and principal of Salt Lake City-based Ivory Homes, has chosen to double-down on an initiative he started last year, the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability. The Prize works in effect like an innovation incubator, set up to identify entirely fresh solutions to chronic challenges to housing affordability and stress-test them for impact, scalability, and their ability to show feasibility and be sustained through lean times.”



October 9, 2019

FORBESFrom Dot-Com Bust To Impact Investing Boon

"All seemed to be going well for Sorenson Communications as it prepared for an IPO. And then, Sorenson recalls, “It was the next day — the very next day — the dot-com bubble burst. Suddenly, Sorenson Communications was losing nearly $1 million every month. Sorenson considered folding the venture entirely.”’



October 3, 2019

FORBESImpact 50: Up to $500 Million

“Forbes has put together The Impact 50 to highlight some of the most notable impact investors.”

[Jim] Sorenson, who started a video communications service for the deaf, gave $13 million to the University of Utah in 2013 to establish the James Lee Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center, now known as the Sorenson Impact Center.”



September 30, 2019

Business WireOpportunity Zone Workshop Series Opens in Mississippi

“The Southeastern Regional Opportunity Zone Summit opening today in Jackson, Mississippi is the first of several planned regional workshops organized by the Milken Institute in collaboration with the Sorenson Impact Foundation, the Economic Innovation Group, and Accelerator for America. The program in Jackson features state and local public officials, community leaders, investors, and U.S. government leaders.”



September 16, 2019

News Wire2019 Hack-A-House Winners Announced

“Today Ivory Innovations announced the winners of the second annual Hack-A-House, a student driven entrepreneurial competition resulting in innovations to reduce housing costs. The University of Utah Hack-A-House competition included more than 100 students and more than 40 ideas.” 



September 6, 2019

BARRON’SRockefeller Foundation Pours Millions of Dollars to Keep Opportunity Zones on Track

“The foundation’s money is geared toward helping cities build out pipelines of potential projects and investments, which will help guide investors looking for somewhere to put their money. That will ostensibly help funnel private capital toward projects that actually benefit existing communities.”

“Billionaire Jim Sorenson started an opportunity zones task force with his Sorenson Impact Center, EIG, and Develop Advisors, the consulting firm of EIG co-founder Steve Glickman, among others.”



August 16, 2019

Impact AlphaFollow the Talent: Agents of Impact special report for Aug. 16

“ImpactAlpha’s weekly “follow the talent” roundup of impact investing career moves, job openings, events and opportunities.”

“The Sorenson Impact Center seeks a manager of impact investing and a senior associate of impact investing in Salt Lake City”



July 31, 2019

UTAHPOLICY.COMMcAdams, Walorski launch bipartisan Congressional What Works Caucus

“Representatives Ben McAdams (D-UT) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) launched a new, bipartisan Congressional What Works Caucus to help ensure that federal taxpayer dollars are invested as effectively and efficiently as possible to improve outcomes for children, families and communities nationwide.”

James Sorenson, President of Sorenson Impact Foundation and an Advisory Board Member of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance said, “Impact investors have a track record of investing in what works – innovative projects and strategies that can scale into sustainable solutions to our shared social, economic and environmental challenges… Congress should do everything in its power to leverage this burgeoning movement and I’m excited to carry the conversation forward through this revitalized caucus.”



July 11, 2019

FORBESCalling All OZ Players: Forbes And Sorenson Impact Launch New List For Top Opportunity Zone Funds And Founders

“We're thrilled to partner with the Sorenson Impact Center to launch our new list: The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts. Debuting in February of 2020 the list will highlight the best investors and entrepreneurs who are creating lasting change OZ communities across the U.S.”



June 13, 2019

FORBESInnovating for Upward Mobility

“While job growth across the state has increased 17 percent since 2008, employment in Carbon and neighboring Emery County has declined 16 percent. The unemployment rate in the two counties is double that of the entire state.”

The Utah Coal Country Strike Team, a coalition of state and local governments, education and business entities, is also “a multi-pronged proposal includes educational training, building a tourism infrastructure, revitalizing housing stock and leveraging opportunity zones to boost economic development.” The team’s proposal "is now in the running for up to $1 million in funding from Schmidt Futures, which in April 2018 selected the University of Utah as one of four anchor institutions in the Alliance for the American Dream.”



June 6, 2019

BUILDER OnlineHere’s Why Innovating New Solutions to America’s Housing Affordability Crisis is Critical

“Clark Ivory, ceo of Ivory Homes and currently co-chairman of the Real Estate Advisory Board to the David Eccles School of Business as well as serving on the advisory board for the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, helped launch the Hack-A-House program through donations from his Ivory Innovations and the Sorenson Impact Center.” 



June 3, 2019

Nieman LabHere’s The Salt Lake Tribune’s plan for securing 501(c)(3) status

“Three weeks and one New York Times profile after announcing its shift to staffers and readers, Utah’s Salt Lake Tribune officially submitted its bid to the IRS to become a nonprofit May 30.”

‘“This ability to give to seek and share information that’s difficult for residents to do on their own is a fundamental purpose of journalism and it is fundamental of a 501(c)(3),” [said] Fraser Nelson, the Tribune’s vice president of business innovation…”

“Nelson comes from philanthropic and entrepreneurial circles of Salt Lake… (She had previously been managing director for strategic partnerships at the Sorenson Impact Center, which is attached to the University of Utah’s business school.)”



May 29, 2019

FORBESOpportunity Zones' Biggest Myths

Sorenson Impact’s Kathryn Tokle demystifies the top three myths around opportunity zones.

“This era differs greatly from previous decades when many economic redevelopment initiatives were first piloted... social impact measurement and analysis has enjoyed a veritable revolution.”



May 29, 2019

Nonprofit QuarterlyOpportunity Zones: Can Philanthropy Provide Accountability When the Law Does Not?

“Enter philanthropy…to the rescue? This week, the Rockefeller Foundation announced last week that it would be making $5.5 million available to help six US cities shape responsible strategy around opportunity zones.” 

“Additionally, Jim Sorenson, an entrepreneur, investor, and businessman based in Utah, has announced he is seeding a $150 million fund that will measure investment impact in these zones using a framework designed by US Impact Investing Alliance and the Beeck Center at Georgetown University.” 



May 23, 2019

Impact AlphaEmpowering communities to take ownership of their own Opportunity Zones

“A common thread throughout the Forbes Opportunity Zones Summit in Newark this week: Ensuring those living and working in Opportunity Zones are empowered to use the tax incentive to take an ownership stake in their own neighborhoods.

“There are just as many bold innovators in Nashville, the Navajo Tribal Nation and Newark as there are in Silicon Valley,” said Jim Sorenson, who has put $10 million into an Opportunity Fund launched by his private equity firm, Catalyst.”



May 21, 2019

Impact AlphaGeneration’s $1B sustainable solutions fund, Sorenson seeds Catalyst’s Opportunity Fund, getting to graduation, diversity in equity crowdfunding

Catalyst launches $150 million impact-focused Opportunity Fund. Catalyst, Utah billionaire Jim Sorenson’s private equity firm, is looking to raise $150 million in a tax-advantaged Opportunity Fund. Sorenson, an early proponent of Opportunity Zones, seeded the fund with $10 million of his own money, according to Bloomberg. Catalyst aims to invest in real estate projects that boost local residents’ access to quality jobs, healthcare, education and housing.”



May 21, 2019

Bloomberg MarketsRockefeller Foundation Aims to Make Trump Tax Perk Work for Poor

Jim Sorenson, a prominent impact investor, said this week he’s seeding a $150 million fund that will use a framework designed by U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and the Beeck Center at Georgetown University to measure the good it does in distressed areas.”



May 20, 2019

FORTUNENot Just a Tax Break

“There’s a new opportunity fund in town. Jim Sorenson’s Catalyst, a private equity firm he helped found, is raising $150 million to invest in opportunity zones.”

“The group’s first fund, which Sorenson is seeding with $10 million, will focus on developing real estate with an eye toward delivering both market-rate returns and measurable social good, according to Bloomberg. “This is a great opportunity to generate a return and make a positive contribution to society,” he said in the article.”



May 20, 2019

PE HubCatalyst launches first real estate Opportunity Zone fund

Renowned Impact Investors Jim Sorenson, Patrick McKenna, and Jeremy Keele Have Teamed up to Invest in Undercapitalized American Communities

Catalyst said May 20 that it is launching an inaugural real estate Opportunity Zone fund, which plans to raise $150 million. Catalyst, of Salt Lake City, has invested in more than $6 billion of real estate projects in the United States across various asset classes.”



May 19, 2019

Bloomberg MarketsSorenson Seeds $150 Million Fund to Invest in Overlooked America

Jim Sorenson, a prominent Utah entrepreneur, investor and businessman, plans to announce Monday that Catalyst, a private equity firm he helped found, is raising $150 million to invest in opportunity zones. The group’s first fund, which Sorenson is seeding with $10 million, will focus on developing real estate with an eye toward delivering both market-rate returns and measurable social good.”



April 24, 2019

FORBESNew Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson and Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka Join the Lineup For Forbes' Inaugural Opportunity Zones Summit

Forbes has formed an influential Board of Advisors to elevate the [Forbes Opportunity Zone Summit] agenda and has confirmed a world-class slate of speakers including Sean Parker, John Lettieri, Rise of the Rest’s J.D. Vance, hall-of-famer David Robinson, impact investors Jim Sorenson, Ray Chambers, Cheryl Dorsey and many more.



April 15, 2019

FORBESWhy Billionaires, All-Star Athletes and Wall Street Leaders Are Joining the Forbes Opportunity Zones Summit

Forbes is launching the new Forbes Opportunity Zones Summit in Newark, New Jersey on May 21 with the theme, Investing for Impact. The investment summit of the year will feature “…top leaders driving the Opportunity Zone ecosystem and forging a new era of responsible capitalism… including Facebook’s first president and Napster founder Sean Parker, AOL founder Steve Case, impact investor Jim Sorenson and creative politicians like Senator Cory Booker, Senator Tim Scott and Stockton, California’s dynamic, young mayor Michael Tubbs.”



March 18, 2019

BUILDER OnlineHow Change in Building Homes Can Happen, One House, One Community, One Process at a Time

In January 2019, Sorenson Impact Center and Ivory Foundation announced the top 25 finalists for the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability.

“Two examples, recognized among the Ivory Prize top 10 innovators for 2019, are Century Partners, which advanced as a finalist for its approach to revitalizing neighborhoods through rehab, workforce development, and community design in the Fitzgerald community in northwest Detroit, and Factory OS, which is vertically integrating 21st century off-site building technologies, software operating systems, lean manufacturing, & progressive labor practices, specifically to drive costs down and impact housing affordability.

The Ivory Prize for Innovation will be announced April 10, at the National Press Club, in Washington, DC.”



February 20, 2019

New York TimesWall Street, Seeking Big Tax Breaks, Sets Sights on Distressed Main Streets

“Hedge funds, investment banks and money managers are trying to raise tens of billions of dollars this year for so-called opportunity funds, a creation of President Trump’s 2017 tax package meant to steer money to poor areas by offering potentially large tax breaks.”

[Jim] Sorenson, who hosts an annual gathering of impact investors in Salt Lake City, devoted much of this year’s meeting, in February, to discussing the potential benefits of the zones. He joined several groups in announcing an effort to create a “guiding set of principles” for making such investments.”



February 11, 2019

The HillStop Leaving Social Impact on the Table: A New Law Should Help

Janis Dubno, Managing Director at Sorenson Impact Center, explains how Pay for Success and the bipartisan law called the Social Impact Partnership to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA) can help solve large-scale social problems.

“SIPPRA and Pay for Success experts gathered for a panel discussion at the 2019 Winter Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City, hosted by the Sorenson Impact Center on Feb. 6, to explore the opportunities available to state governments, local governments, and service providers.”



February 8, 2019

Deseret NewsPaying For Success: The Story of How Utah Became a Leader in Social Impact Investing

Launched in 2013, The Utah High Quality Preschool Program “helped inspire a groundbreaking piece of federal legislation called the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act. The act, and the pay-for-success programs its $100 million in federal funds could be used for, were hot topics at the Sorenson Impact Center’s annual Winter Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City, which ran Feb. 6-8.”



February 6, 2019

News WiseThe Sorenson Impact Center Launches the Opportunity Zones Task Force and Upcoming Opportunity Zones Catalyst Challenge

“Announced at the opening of the Sorenson Impact Center’s 5th annual Winter Innovation Summit, the Opportunity Zones Task Force encourages social impact leaders – community activists, local and national government officials, investors, businesses, NGOs, think tanks, and foundations – to help create a unified vision of best practices and actively support Opportunity Zone efforts to ensure that the people who live and work in Opportunity Zone communities are the true beneficiaries of Opportunity Zone investments.”



January 24, 2019

BUILDER Online25 Finalists Selected for the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability

“Sorenson Impact, with support from the Ivory Foundation, has announced the top 25 finalists for the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability, a new prize that recognizes adoptable and innovative solutions to address housing affordability. Ideas focus on three particular areas including construction and design; finance; and public policy and regulatory reform. The selected finalists will advance to the final round of judging for the $200,000 award.”



January 23, 2019

FOX 13 NewsU of U Launches Financing Program to Help Students Finish their Degrees

“The University of Utah announced Wednesday that it is launching a program to help students pay education-related costs to help them complete their degrees. The pilot program, titled “Invest in U,” will offer students the option of an income share agreement, which would address financial barriers that would prevent a student from completing their degree and possibly lead to a student dropping out of college… The University of Utah, according to the press release, is the first major Western university to offer this type of program to students.” 

The year-long development has been a partnership between “the university’s Sorenson Impact Center and university leaders and students, as well as Vemo Education, which has partnered with Purdue University, Norwich University and Messiah College to create similar initiatives.”



January 8, 2019

Entrepreneur IndiaOmnivore Partners’ Managing Partner Shares Why Agri and Food Startups are the Next Big Thing

“Omnivore backs early stage (ideally between seed to series B) startups that are developing solutions for sectors like agriculture, food and rural economy… This would just improve the farm output and make lives easier for our farmers, but also solve the food problems among the growing population… In early 2018, Omnivore closed the first round of its second fund at USD 46 million with investors like SIDBI, RBL Bank, Sorenson Impact Foundation, among others on board.”



December 18, 2018

UTAHPOLICY.COMUtah Opportunity Zones benefit from new consultant

“We are excited to partner with GOED and UAC, lend our experience, and help use this innovative new financing program to create a positive social and economic impact for rural Utah,” said our CEO Hewson Baltzell on Opportunity Zones.



December 13, 2018

Eccles ExperienceRiding the Wave: Using Data for Professional Growth

“Data is everywhere. We are drowning in it,” says Daniel Hadley, the Sorenson Impact Center’s Chief Data Scientist. “While there are other organizations using data for social good, Sorenson Impact is unique in having an embedded data-science team. One of the first things you notice in communicating with them is that you don't feel like you’re talking to your stereotypical data scientists.” Hadley adds, “Knowing what data are useful to analyze, is what will always separate humans from ‘the bots.’”



November 27, 2018

BUILDER OnlineIvory Homes Spearheading $200,000 Contest

“To build the framework of the contest, Ivory tapped his network which includes the David Eccles School of business at the University of Utah, the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkley, and the Sorenson Impact Center, also at the University of Utah. In mid-September the team launched a call for entries in the first Ivory Prize in Housing Affordability, which will include a $200,000 award from the Ivory Foundation. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 15.”



November 20, 2018

POLITICOThe Gap in the GOP’s Economic Plan

“The regulations, as they are right now, don’t include any of the data fields we were hoping for,” said Nick Fritz, an official at the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah, which focuses on improving the social impact of investing. Fritz is optimistic about Opportunity Zones but worries that the lack of data will make it hard to know whether the program actually succeeds.



Sep 18, 2018

The Salt Lake TribuneUtah business leaders create a new $200,000 Ivory Prize for the best ideas on affordable housing

"The yearly prizes are being funded by Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes, Utah’s largest home builder, and his wife, Christine, though a family foundation, with support from the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah’s Eccles School of Business."



Sep 8, 2018

The Salt Lake TribuneHaving trouble finding a place to live in Salt Lake City? This online tool offers rents and other data by neighborhood — and it explains how hard it is out there

“So, what is this dashboard and what does it do? An online clearinghouse and dynamic policy document, it is meant to push out key findings, numbers and trends that inform the city’s approach and frame its housing problems, often in stark terms.”



Aug 8, 2018

Federal Reserve Bank of New YorkOpportunity Zones: Moving Toward a Shared Impact Framework

"Nick Fritz, Senior Associate for Sorenson Impact, suggested that a best practice may be to establish “impact measurement” milestones at the five-, seven-, and 10-year marks, tracking progress by reporting on specific yearly data points, while also recording and reporting on specific metrics each year. These metrics could build off of transaction-level data (location of investments, investment size, type of project or enterprise, etc.) to determine alignment with community needs and with an Opportunity Fund’s investment thesis."



July 23, 2018

ImpactAlphaAlzheimer’s startup accelerator, Chance the Publisher, Blavity ramps up, Sorenson Impact Center’s new CEO

"Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Hewson Baltzell is the new CEO of the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business… Jasmine Richards joins Cambridge Associates as a senior investment director to identify women- and minority-owned investment managers… Jane Ambachtsheer joins BNP Paribas Asset Management as global head of sustainability."



July 18, 2018

ForbesAn Unlikely Group Of Billionaires And Politicians Has Created The Most Unbelievable Tax Break Ever

"The great thing about this legislation is it can bring together sectors that may not have worked together before," says Jim Sorenson, a Utah-based entrepreneur and impact investor who was an early part of Parker's coalition. "There can be a great collaboration between state and local entities to add more incentives to further sweeten the pot." 

Sorenson says philanthropy can play an important role in prepping an O-zone for growth, providing initial capital to secure real estate loans or launching job-training programs to create a large supply of local talent ready to work. "We can come in first, solve problems and de-risk projects to make them more feasible for investors," Sorenson says. "Then you tap into the institutional markets—that's where the big money is."



July 6, 2018

The Daily AstorianNorth Coast preschool advocates prepare for pilot study

"The study was led by Dan Gaffney, a retired educator from Seaside, and researchers with Social Finance, a nonprofit focused on social issues. Way to Wellville, a community wellness challenge, secured a grant to bring in data scientists from the Sorenson Impact Center to look at connections between preschool and future academic success."



May 31, 2018

ForbesForbes' Seventh Annual Forbes 400 Summit On Philanthropy Bridges Worlds Of Social Good And Entrepreneurship

"Forbes yesterday hosted its seventh annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy under the theme Thinking Big...and Proving It,” bringing together 150 of the world’s leading philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and business leaders to discuss how best to address and solve some of the world’s most intractable problems. ... The day’s speakers included Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway; Billy Beane, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, Oakland Athletics; ... Jim Sorenson, President, Sorenson Impact Foundation ... among many others."



May 18, 2018

GRBJKent County joins child development initiative

"The Sorenson Impact Center, housed at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, is working with PCI and the partner organizations to manage the initiative.

Kent County is working on the project with the Center for the Study of Social Policy, a national organization based in Washington, D.C. The national partner organizations working with other communities are the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, National Institute for Children’s Health Quality and StriveTogether."



May 5, 2018

EntrepreneurWhy Startups Focused on Solving Social Problems Are Attracting Investors

"Sorenson Impact also has lots of resources that can help entrepreneurs navigate the path between business success and doing good. Ultimately, companies should look to work with organizations that have verifiable social impact success and share a commitment to the values underpinning social impact-focused work."



April 12, 2018

Bloomberg MarketsThe Family Office World Grapples With How to Confront Big Corporation

" As an entrepreneur, I made my living generating, testing and collaborating on good ideas. As an investor and philanthropist, I now spend my days seeking, evaluating and collaborating with others on ventures, and I have been surprised at finding great ideas in unexpected places — outside Silicon Valley, outside Wall Street, and even outside the private sector. "



March 14, 2017

The HillInvestors, mine for diamonds in your own backyard

"As an entrepreneur, I made my living generating, testing and collaborating on good ideas. As an investor and philanthropist, I now spend my days seeking, evaluating and collaborating with others on ventures, and I have been surprised at finding great ideas in unexpected places — outside Silicon Valley, outside Wall Street, and even outside the private sector."



March 6, 2017

Can Utah Make Justice Reform Work?Growing the Pipeline of Pay-for-Success Project

"The number of people living in Rio Grande grew rapidly and, by 2015, the number of drug crimes spiked, thanks to the use and sale of heroin and amphetamines, according to an analysis by the Sorenson Impact Center, a think tank at the University of Utah. But police patrolling the area felt like their hands were tied."



February 2018 Issue

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond—Growing the Pipeline of Pay-for-Success Projects 

"The Sorenson Impact Center, housed at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, is a “think-and-do tank that marshals capital for social good, empowers data-driven programs, breaks down silos across sectors and equips the next generation of leaders with social purpose.” With social impact financing, the Sorenson Impact Center acts as a connector between “leading academic research regarding ‘what works’ in social policy with programmatic design, execution and rigorous evaluation” of proposed project feasibility. They also provide competitive grants to PFS projects."



February 14, 2018

ImpactAlpha‘Can investors revive the American Dream?’ and other weighty questions of the day

"Impact investors have cheered The Economist’s interest as a British-accented signal that the new investment approach is ready for prime time. Thursday’s speakers, including James Lee Sorenson of the Sorenson Impact Foundation, Debra Schwartz of the MacArthur Foundation, Jean Case of the Case Foundation and Audrey Choi of Morgan Stanley all are eager to move beyond the question of whether to move capital markets toward social impact, and get to how and how fast."



February 12, 2018

NewswiseSorenson Impact Plays Leading Role in Passage of Social Financing Bill

"Newswise — SALT LAKE CITY — February 12, 2018 — The Sorenson Impact Centerat the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business played a leading role in supporting the bipartisan Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA), which passed Congress early Friday morning and is expected to be signed into law."



February 9, 2018

The Economist Events BlogJames Lee Sorenson, Chairman, Sorenson Impact Foundation

I’ve always been a businessman and entrepreneur. Just prior to my formal involvement in the social innovation and impact investing space, I helped develop digital video compression software, mass-market videophones, and video relay service for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. This work helped transform communication capabilities for a million deaf individuals in the early 2000s, and I realized that my investments could ‘do well while doing good.’ I like to think that I haven’t looked back since.



January 29, 2018

The New York TimesTucked Into the Tax Bill, a Plan to Help Distressed America

"Investors are already starting to take notice. A two-hour session on Opportunity Funds drew a standing-room-only crowd last week at the Winter Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City, said Patrick McKenna, founding partner of the venture capital firm High Ridge Global. Mr. McKenna has invested in distressed communities such as Baltimore and over the last year has tried to steer Silicon Valley dollars to struggling areas such as Youngstown, Ohio, out of a belief those areas contain untapped potential for growth and prosperity."



January 24, 2018

The HillOur government is stalled — it’s time to invest in innovation

"Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has been a pioneer in using this model in local government. In Congress, I’ve worked with Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) on legislation to help states and local governments implement more programs like this. This is why I’m especially looking forward to attending and speaking at the Winter Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City this month, where leaders in this space from around the country will share ideas."



January 22, 2018

Hartford CourantGov. Malloy In Utah This Week

"Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will be in Utah this week, where he is scheduled to speak at the Sorenson Impact Center’s Winter Innovation Summit.

Malloy will speak with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday morning. The Sorenson Impact Center is a nonpartisan think tank based at the University of Utah.

The summit, which runs Wednesday through Friday, “will bring together policymakers, funders, nonprofits and social entrepreneurs to explore the future of social innovation across the globe,” according to its website."



January 12, 2018

Daily HeraldKneaders celebrates 20 years, Utah Export Acceleration Grant Competition, Women's Leadership Series event

"The World Trade Center Utah will hold its inaugural Utah Export Acceleration Grant Pitch Competition from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Jan. 24 at the Sorenson Impact Center’s Winter Innovation Summit.

This competition will bring together some of the top up-and-coming small businesses in Utah looking to sell their products in international markets. Competitors will have the chance to pitch their ideas to some of the state’s most experienced international and business leaders. Just seven of the top 2017 Export Acceleration Grant recipients w ill compete for the chance to receive $15,000.

This break-out session of the Sorenson Impact Center’s Winter Innovation Summit is free and open to the public to attend. It is a great opportunity for Utah businesses to learn more about developing their international business goals and strategies, exporting their products and services and utilizing grants and other resources available at WTC Utah. The grant competition will be held in the University of Utah Guesthouse Ballroom, 110 Fort Douglas Blvd., Salt Lake City."



January 4, 2018

Utah PulseUtah Export Acceleration Grant pitch competition

"Join World Trade Center Utah on Jan. 24 from 1:30-3 p.m. at the Sorenson Impact Center's Winter Innovation Summit for our inaugural Utah Export Acceleration Grant Pitch Competition!"



December 18, 2017

ForbesWhy 2018 Is The Year Of The Philanthropic Investor

"This initiative led to my personal philanthropic redirection towards impact investing, and in 2013, I created the Sorenson Impact Center to further advance the market."



December 7, 2017

David Eccles School of BusinessInvesting for social good: A look at the latest in social impact

"This week, Dean Taylor Randall, Jeramy Lund and I had the privilege of traveling with Jim Sorenson to an event he sponsored in New York City that is hosted by the Financial Times called “FT Investing for Good USA.” The convening of 150 people is billed as an event spotlighting “Innovative Finance as a Force for Global Change.” It attracted speakers such as the Ford Foundation president, Darren Walker, the Case Foundation CEO, Jean Case, and of course, our very own Jim Sorenson, representing his Sorenson Impact Foundation as well as the Sorenson Impact Center that he endowed at the David Eccles School of Business."



November 17, 2017

Education WeekCities, Counties Join New Initiative to Focus on Kindergarten Readines

"The Pritzker Children's Initiative, which is a part of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, is funding the partnership and will provide more than $6.5 million during the one-year pilot program with plans to supply more money in the future. The funds will be used to support programs for infants, toddlers, and their families. The partnership will be managed by the initiative and by the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business."



October 17, 2017

BmeaningfulThe Future of Impact Investing

"The investing ecosystem will be more robust and complex, requiring greater vision, leadership, commitment and collaboration."—Sorenson Impact Center President and CEO, Jeremy Keele, on the future of impact investing.



October 13, 2017

SantanderSantander InnoVentures leads USD 6 million round in Mexican startup ePesos to advance financial inclusion

"Other institutional investors participating in the round include VilCap Investments, Pomona Impact, and Fiinlab, the innovation lab owned by Gentera. The round also saw participation from Sorenson Impact Foundation, a leading social impact fund, which is making its first investment in Mexico."



August 23, 2017

CNN MoneyThese super-rich families are investing their fortunes to help others

"[The ImPact's] founding members include Liesel Pritzker Simmons (an heiress to the Hyatt Hotels fortune), Jason Ingle (great-great grandson of Henry Ford) and Jim Sorenson (son of businessman James LeVoy Sorenson)."



August 11, 2017

CITYLABWhat This Salt Lake City Heatmap Tells Us About Drug Crime

“A lot of the drug crime is attributable to that one square block,” says Daniel Hadley, director of data science at the Sorenson Center. His team has created a heat map that shows how the local police department’s drug-related encounters have increasingly concentrated in that area over the last few years...



August 9, 2017

Deseret NewsA. Scott Anderson: An ingenious way to bolster investment in at-risk communities

Utah entrepreneur, business leader and philanthropist James Lee Sorenson is working to reverse this trend. By championing innovative legislation in Congress, and through the work of the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, Sorenson is seeking to accelerate investments in startups to help revitalize economically distressed communities...



July 26, 2017

The U.S. Impact Investing AllianceU.S. Impact Investing Alliance Launches to Scale the Practice of Impact Investing

The Alliance’s 11-member board comprises leading practitioners from across the impact investing community, including private investors, foundations, intermediaries and asset managers. Jim Sorenson, Chairman, Sorenson Impact Foundation...



July 26, 207

ImpactAlphaBlending finance for global goals, responsible robo-advisors, U.S. impact investing alliance, future of transportation in the U.K.

The 11-member board is heavily weighted toward philanthropic foundations, including the presidents of the MacArthur, Kresge, Heron and Sorenson Impact foundations and the Omidyar Network...



July 4, 2017

The News & ObserverUtah's paroled fugitive count increased in past 2-plus years

The Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah conducted the study with funding from the Utah Association of Counties. The findings were presented Thursday to a group of Utah county prosecutors...



July 4, 2017

US NewsUtah's Paroled Fugitive Count Increased in Past 2-Plus Years

The Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah conducted the study with funding from the Utah Association of Counties. The findings were presented Thursday to a group of Utah county prosecutors...



July 2, 2017

Deseret NewsUtah's paroled fugitive count increased sharply in past 2 years

The fugitive figures were presented to a group of county prosecutors in Heber City on Thursday as part of a larger crime study funded by the Utah Association of Counties and conducted by the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah...



June 14, 2017

MediumWhat to Read This Week: The Good Capital Project Series

Leading up to the launch of the Good Capital Project, SOCAP is posting a series of interviews with impact leaders about why the Good Capital Project is needed now. Contributors include such well-respected leaders in the space as Jim Sorenson, Chairman of the Sorenson Impact Foundation...



May 26, 2017

KSL'This will change lives:' New center's goal is to rehab likely repeat offenders

Jeremy Keele, managing director of the Sorenson Impact Center, which is coordinating some project management as it pertains to REACH, explained that the county's reimbursement of the program's private funders is not an all-or-nothing scenario...



May 25, 2017

The Salt Lake TribuneCounty launches program aimed at tracking, reducing repeat criminal offending

That's how we know, 'does this program improve how we're operating?'" said Katie Reberg, project manager at the Sorensen Impact Center...



May 4, 2017

Social Capital MarketsGood Capital Project Update

James Lee “Jim” Sorenson is a recognized leader in impact investing and the Chairman of the Sorenson Impact Foundation. Jim is the co-founder of the private equity firm Sorenson Capital and founder and chairman of Sorenson Media....



April 27, 2017

Disrupt AfricaHow you can help the entrepreneurs you care about succeed

Last year, our team at Village Capital set out to take this question — “What works in entrepreneur support?” — one step further. We teamed up with the DOEN Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, and the Sorenson Impact Foundation to conduct a real-life experiment called VilCap Communities...



April 23, 2017

ImpactAlphaCities shouldn’t try to imitate Silicon Valley to support startups

The study, conducted in partnership with the DOEN, Kauffman and Sorenson Impact foundations, found accelerators with programs were more likely to succeed when they focused on local sectors like agriculture or water...



April 12, 2017

University of Virginia Pay for Success LabPay for Success Lab Newsletter

Thankfully, as the field of PFS continues to grow and change, there are many high-quality organizations that provide technical assistance to communities. The Sorenson Impact Center and Harvard Government Performance Lab are both university-based. There are several...



April 4, 2017

Global University VenturingKansas educates future investors

VC firm Royal Street Ventures has partnered student-led investment fund University Venture Fund, Kauffmann Foundation, Sorenson Impact Center, and a range of private individuals to launch the Kansas City University Venture Program, according to Startland...



March 3, 2017

THE IMPACTJim Sorenson: A Case Study in Impact Investing

Jim believes impact investing is a powerful method for scaling solutions to local and global challenges, and for creating significant economic value. Jim makes impact investments with his personal capital, out of the endowments of his foundations (in the form of mission-related investments), and uses grantmaking capital from his foundations to make program-related investments (or PRIs)...



March 2, 2017

FINANCING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSEpisode 7 Interview with Jim Sorenson: How Foundations can Catalyze Social Entrepreneurship using PRIs

Jim Sorenson is a highly successful entrepreneur and business executive who has become a pioneer in the field of impact investing...



February 23, 2017

MIT GOV/LABData-Driven Government: A Case Study in U.S. Criminal Justice

How can big data be leveraged to improve government? We report back evidence from the 2017 Winter Innovation Summit...



October 7, 2016

FORBESHow You Can Invest In (Not Donate To) Ending Homelessness

Jeremy Keele, who previously worked for Salt Lake County and now serves as Managing Director for the Sorenson Impact Center at the David Eccles School of Business as the University of Utah, explains how it works...



Jan. 11, 2016

January 11, 2016

FORBESRethinking Philanthropy: Why Impact Investing Makes Giving Sustainable

Guest Post by James Lee Sorenson. Due diligence is just as necessary to charitable giving as it is to the other aspects of your personal finances. It is time we apply market-like logic to our philanthropic donations. Cue impact investing...



February 25, 2015

FORBESWealthy Entrepreneur Focused On Impact Investing

James Lee Sorenson, whose late father was listed among Forbes' billionaires and left his fortune to charity, has focused his significant personal wealth accumulated through his own entrepreneurship on driving impact around the world...


Press Releases


April 10, 2019

Four Innovators Awarded Funding to Tackle Housing Affordability

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Factory OS and Landed in San Francisco, Home Partners of America in Chicago and The Alley Flat Initiative in Austin have been selected by Ivory Innovations as winners of the inaugural Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability. The national innovation challenge sheds light on emerging and impactful solutions seeking to address America’s housing affordability challenges. Here is a link to the digital brochure. Read the full press release.



February 06, 2019

The Sorenson Impact Center Launches the Opportunity Zones Task Force and Upcoming Opportunity Zones Catalyst Challenge

SALT LAKE CITY—The Sorenson Impact Center, along with its founding partners, the Economic Innovation Group, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), Beeck Center, and Develop Advisors, today launched The Opportunity Zones Task Force, and forthcoming Opportunity Zones Catalyst Challenge.



January 23, 2019

University of Utah Announces Innovative Financing Program to Help Students Finish Degrees

SALT LAKE CITY—The University of Utah launches Invest in U pilot program, in partnership with the Sorenson Impact Center and Vemo Education, to help students in 18 majors finish their degrees. The program has a $6 million budget and is funded by the university, donors and investors. 



Oct. 3, 2018

University Venture Fund II Is First Money in Navigen Pharmaceuticals Seed Round

SALT LAKE CITY—The Sorenson Impact Center’s University Venture Fund - Impact Investing (UVF II) closed its first investment in a seed round into Salt Lake City-based Navigen, Inc.



Sep. 5, 2018

The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance Announce Awardee of Pay for Success Structuring Grant

SALT LAKE CITY—The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance today announced Philadelphia Works, Inc. in Philadelphia, Pa. as the awardee of a nationwide Pay for Success (PFS) transaction structuring competition.



July 20, 2018

Sorenson Impact Center Announces Hewson Baltzell as New CEO

SALT LAKE CITY –The Sorenson Impact Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Hewson Baltzell as the new CEO of the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business. Mr. Baltzell’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for the Center. Mr. Baltzell was appointed by the Eccles School Dean, Taylor Randall, after an extensive national search and is relocating from New York City.




July 12, 2018

The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance Re-Open Pay for Success Competition

SALT LAKE CITY—The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance today re-opened their nationwide competition to develop Pay for Success (PFS) projects that expand high-impact social interventions and measurably improve the lives of those in need.



May 23, 2018

University Venture Fund — Impact Investing: Student venture fund completes first-round close at $8.2M

SALT LAKE CITY — The Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business today announced the successful first-round close of University Venture Fund — Impact Investing (UVF II), an $8.2 million fund that follows on the heels of the original University Venture Fund (UVF).



April 24, 2018

Local Communities to Prioritize a Strong Start for Babies and Toddlers

SALT LAKE CITY—Leading national organizations announced today that they will work with 29 communities across the country to focus on child development from birth to age 3. Research shows investments in the first three years of life, when a child’s brain develops faster than at any other time period, are most critical in helping more children become more confident, empathetic, contributing members of their communities. 



February 12, 2018

Congress Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Create a Federal Fund Supporting Social Financing; The Sorenson Impact Center Plays Leading Role

SALT LAKE CITY—The Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business played a leading role in supporting the bipartisan Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA), which passed Congress early Friday morning and is expected to be signed into law.



November 17, 2017

National Organizations Form Joint Effort to Improve Kindergarten Readiness for Children from Birth to Age 3

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Working together, organizations will launch coordinated effort to advance programs and policies focused on early years in life when rapid periods of brain development are critical for later success.



October 2, 2017

Lee Pesky Learning Center Finds Viable Pay for Success Approach to Improving Literacy

BOISE, Idaho—Lee Pesky Learning Center (LPLC), a dedicated teaching and research organization with the vision to create a path to learning for every child, has issued a report assessing the feasibility of using Pay for Success to scale its evidence-based Idaho Early Literacy Project.



July 25, 2017

The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance Announce Awardees of Pay for Success Structuring Grant

SALT LAKE CITY—The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance today announced Charter Oak State College in Connecticut, Lee Pesky Learning Center in Idaho, and the Workforce Investment Network in Tennessee as the awardees of a nationwide Pay for Success (PFS) competition.



May 22, 2017

Sorenson Impact Center Selects Eight Subrecipients to Participate in National Pay for Success Initiative

SALT LAKE CITY—The Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business has awarded subgrants to five nonprofit service providers and three government entities to participate in a Pay for Success (PFS) feasibility program. Read our full press release.



May 8, 2017

Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance Re-Open Pay for Success Competition

SALT LAKE CITY—The Sorenson Impact Center and Social Finance today reopened their nationwide Pay for Success (PFS) competition to develop PFS projects that expand high-impact social interventions to measurably improve the lives of those in need. Read our full press release.



February 21, 2017

Sorenson Impact Announces Awardees for Pay for Success Data Grant

SALT LAKE CITY — The Sorenson Impact Center, a grantee of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund (SIF), today announced three awardees that will receive tailored data services in support of Pay for Success projects. Read our full press release.



January 24, 2017

Top Minds in Social Impact and Innovation Convene in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY—A world-renowned group of more than 120 experts will converge on Salt Lake City, along with 500 guests, for the third annual Winter Innovation Summit from January 25 to January 27. The conference is hosted by the Sorenson Impact Center in partnership with Salt Lake County and the Sundance Institute. Read our full press release.



January 9, 2017

Gov. Hickenlooper Announces ‘Call for Innovation’ for Underserved Colorado Youth

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the “Colorado Call for Innovation,” soliciting innovative approaches from nonprofits, local governments and service providers to improve outcomes for Colorado underserved youth and their families. Sorenson Impact's work supports the State of Colorado through a Social Innovation Fund grant. Read the Governor's press release.



December 19, 2016

Salt Lake County Launches Two Pay for Success Projects

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams today announced the launch of two new initiatives to offer better programs to address two long-running county problems – persistent homelessness and adult men who are at high risk for repeat stays in the county jail. Sorenson Impact played the role of project manager, Jim Sorenson is a funder. Read Salt Lake County's press release.



November 30, 2016

The What Works Media Project Launches

The Sorenson Impact Center and Results for America have partnered with Starfish Media Group, Solutions Media, and Impact Partners to produce documentary shorts that impact policy and change lives. Read Results for America's press release.



October 18, 2016

White House Announces Grant Awardees for Pay for Success Administrative Data Pilot

Sorenson Impact receives $1.5 million grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund (SIF) to enable data access for social service projects nationwide. Read full press release.



October 7, 2016

Pima County and Sorenson Impact to Begin Implementing $1.3M Grant

Pima County and Sorenson Impact prepare to implement a $1.3 million federal "Pay for Success" (PFS) Supportive Housing Demonstration Grant, the first of its kind in Arizona. Read the full press release.



October 4, 2016

Sorenson Impact and Social Finance Announce Pay for Success Competition

Five awardees to receive up to $520,000 each to scale high-impact programs in their communities; youth development, economic opportunity and healthy futures are the focus of awards. Read the full press release.