“‘The goal is to create a tool for impact, to get more people on the economic escalator,’ said Tracy Palandjian, co-founder and chief executive of Social Finance.
Philanthropies built with technology fortunes are prominent among the fund’s supporters. A large investor is Blue Meridian Partners, whose donor partners include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ballmer Group and the Sergey Brin Family Foundation.
Others contributing to the fund are the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Schmidt Futures, led by Eric Schmidt, former chief executive of Google.
For Social Finance and its backers, the career impact bonds are not traditional investments. For them, breaking even or a small return would be winning — proof the concept is working, which should attract more public and private money.
‘We need to move toward evidence-based funding,’ said Jim Shelton, chief investment and impact officer for Blue Meridian Partners and a deputy secretary of education in the Obama administration. ‘And Social Finance is supporting programs that show it can be done.’”