In the Press
October 19, 2018
The National Council on Family Relations—Social 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
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.
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...
November 27, 2018
BUILDER Online—Ivory 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
POLITICO—The 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 Tribune—Utah 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 Tribune—Having 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 York—Opportunity 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
ImpactAlpha—Alzheimer’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 joinsCambridge 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
Forbes—An 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 Astorian—North 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
Forbes—Forbes' 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
"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
"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 Markets—The 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
"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
"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
"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 Blog—James 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 Times–Tucked 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
"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 Courant–Gov. 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 Herald–Kneaders 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
"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
"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 Business–Investing 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
"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
Bmeaningful—The 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
Santander—Santander 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
"[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
“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
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 Alliance–U.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
ImpactAlpha—Blending 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 & Observer—Utah'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
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
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
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
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 Tribune—County 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 Markets—Good 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 Africa—How 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
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 Lab—Pay 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 Venturing—Kansas 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
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 ENTREPRENEURS—Episode 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
October 7, 2016
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
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
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...
Oct. 3, 2018
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
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
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
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
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
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—July 25, 2017—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
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
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
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. 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 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
October 18, 2016
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 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
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.