February 12, 2018


Lisa Cox, Manager of Communications and Marketing                               

lisa.cox@eccles.utah.edu • 801.581.1941


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. 

The legislation creates a $100 million federal fund that can support successful outcomes delivered to vulnerable populations via Pay for Success projects or social impact partnerships. Under SIPPRA, taxpayer dollars would only be spent on social programs that achieved previously determined and desired outcomes. The bill will also support feasibility studies and evaluations for launched projects. Recipients will be selected based on state and local need. 

"Government, just like business and philanthropy, should prioritize efficient and accountable social programs," said businessman, philanthropist, and social impact investor Jim Sorenson, "especially when the success of vulnerable populations hangs in the balance."

"This bill corrects a market failure," said President and CEO of the Sorenson Impact Center Jeramy Lund. "Prior to this, local and state governments did not have an incentive to start up, measure and evaluate programs that saved the federal government and taxpayers social sector resources."  

The Sorenson Impact Center was fortunate to have worked with many partners and like-minded leaders across sectors, states and parties who share in this important bill's passing and is proud to have made the following contribution to the four-year development, support for and passage of this groundbreaking and bipartisan federal legislation: 

  • In December 2014, the White House Office of Social Innovation and Community Engagement asked Sorenson Impact to enlist Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah as the sponsor of the bill in the Senate. 
  • Sorenson Impact then led a Senate Finance Committee briefing on social financing, and in 2015, Senators Hatch and Michael Bennet (D-CO) released the Senate's companion to that released in the House by Representatives Todd Young (R-IN) and John Delaney (D-MD). 
  • Sorenson Impact participated in a House briefing organized by the American Enterprise Institute on social financing in support of the bill and continued to provide substantive input on the draft legislation over the next two years. 
  • In May of 2016, Sorenson Impact's founder, Jim Sorenson, testified in the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the bill, touching on evidence-based policy and related concepts.
  • Throughout 2016 and 2017, Sorenson Impact worked with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the bill sponsors, Congressional leadership, and other committee chairs to educate, inform, and address concerns.

The Sorenson Impact Center looks forward to the hard work ahead of bringing innovative solutions to people in need of new opportunities.