With limited public dollars available to support community-based social and environmental programs, community organizations are seeking new and innovative ways to engage with private investors.

The Community Foundations of Canada Outcomes Canada model aims to address this challenge by creating a multi-sector initiative through which community-led programs will produce positive, measurable outcomes, such as economic well-being, skills training and job creation, improved health, or other social and environmental outcomes. 

The new publication “A Measurement and Evaluation Roadmap to Support Social Impact Investment in Canada identifies critical components of evaluation and outcome measurement, key issues associated with each component, and options to consider in the context of an outcomes-based payment model such as the Outcomes Canada model.

The paper’s executive summary notes that “Social finance offers innovative ways to finance solutions to many of society’s most challenging problems by attracting private investments that create both financial returns for investors and desired social and environmental impacts. Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) is working with sector partners to develop a social-finance platform called Outcomes Canada (OC) to facilitate community-driven social finance.”

At present, community initiatives bear the burden of navigating a highly decentralized financing ecosystem to secure funding and other support needed to build their capacity and achieve desired outcomes. At the same time, governments, social financiers, philanthropists, and academics seek to find and support community initiatives that are producing results.

This roadmap is a first step for measurement and evaluation to support the Outcomes Canada platform. To read the Roadmap, click HERE.

The project was led by CHEPA member Jeremiah Hurley, Dean of McMaster’s Faculty of Social Sciences. It was supported by the Community Foundations of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Future of Canada Project at McMaster University. 

The initiative involves other CHEPA members Arthur Sweetman, David Feeny, Emmanuel Guindon, and Jean- Éric Tarride.

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