Social Finance

Social Finance is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to mobilizing investment capital to drive social progress. We believe that increasing the flow of sustainable capital to effective programs will help solve society’s most intractable social challenges. Our goal is to develop innovative financing solutions to make this happen. In the emerging field of "Pay for Success” and "Social Innovation Financing," we focus on structuring and managing impact investments that will unlock capital to fund effective solutions and drive an outcomes-focused social sector. Core to our work is the Social Impact Bond, an innovative public-private partnership that scales performance-driven social programs, creates taxpayer efficiencies and generates financial returns for investors.  

The Director’s Intern will:

  • Research SIB-appropriate social issue areas, intervention-based programs and non-profit service providers
  • Provide direct support to Director of Communications, which may include managing firm’s social networking outlets, developing marketing materials, monitoring press and public discussion of Social Finance, and maintaining website
  • Support fundraising efforts, including grants management and event planning
  • Perform additional administrative tasks as assigned

The internship will be an opportunity for students to develop professional skills while learning about impact investing, intervention-based programs, and communications strategy. In addition to working side by side with the entire Social Finance team, the Intern will have the opportunity to attend educational meetings with potential partners and firm stakeholders.

2016 Intern Reflection:

Through my summer internship at Social Finance, I developed an in-depth understanding of the world of impact investing and private financing to support programs and services in the social sector, and specifically the role of Pay for Success projects in the United States and around the world. This summer, Social Finance released a landmark report on the state of the Pay for Success market since the first project was launched in the UK six years ago. As a member of the communications team, I helped edit the report and drive communications strategy for its launch, including managing social media accounts, reaching out to partners, stakeholders, and the media, updating the website, and putting together the company’s quarterly newsletter. Outside of this project, I sent out daily clips to the team, edited other reports, drafted remarks for our CEO, and created additional marketing materials.
In addition to my work on the communications team, I had the chance to help out with one of the company’s advisory projects, researching whether Pay for Success could be used to bring a health-related nonprofit’s services to five large cities in the United States, and helped brainstorm ideas for a large grant application. The opportunity to work on these projects came about due to Social Finance’s transparent and collaborative culture. As an intern, I was encouraged to sit in on meetings and to ask to get involved with projects that interested me. Everyone at the office was incredibly friendly and helpful, always willing to grab coffee or chat over lunch. I learned so much about this growing field and had a great time getting to know the smart, hardworking, and passionate members of the office. For anyone interested in public-private partnerships or the intersection of the business world and the social sector, Social Finance offers an engaging and exciting summer internship experience with huge opportunity for learning and growth.  

Avni Nahar '17

2015 Intern Reflection:

As a summer intern at Social Finance, I had the opportunity work with innovative financing mechanisms while surrounded by team members with a strong commitment to the social sector. During my internship, I worked on several projects involving Social Impact Bonds and Pay for Success deals, and the fast-paced, growing nature of the office and the field ensured there was always more work to be tackled. Throughout the summer, I was staffed on a number of communications and internal projects, including drafting remarks for the CEO, running a statistics and evaluation design training session, and creating a new platform for the firm to organize its projects and issue area work.

As a young, growing company that is a pioneer in its field, Social Finance combines a startup atmosphere with a results-oriented work ethic. The firm draws in incredibly talented minds from finance, management consulting, statistics, social service, and communications backgrounds to create a diverse and collaborative team. The open floor ensures knowledge and expertise is constantly shared, while maintaining a fun, friendly, and dynamic work atmosphere. From afternoons on the treadmill desks and in-house mini golf competitions, to off campus outings and team barbeques, Social Finance emphasizes relationship building inside and outside of the office. By working across sectors and building innovative public-private partnerships, Social Finance offers a unique summer internship experience for anyone interested in developing business skills, while creating  meaningful, social change.

Hope Schwartz '16

2014 Director's Intern Reflection:

My work assignments at Social Finance (SF) provided real insight into the emerging field of Pay for Success and Social Innovation Financing. In my role as a communications intern, I updated SF’s social networking outlets, marketing materials, and website on a continual basis and took on ad hoc projects as they materialized. During my first week, I was asked to write a post for the SF blog that was later picked up and circulated by the global daily Social Impact Bond Newsletter. I was also staffed on several long-term projects, which involved building internal research databases and providing logistical assistance for the development of a national communications strategy for the industry.

When I first walked into the office, I was surprised by the conspicuous absence of cubicles. Everyone—from Associates to the CEO—sits side by side at adjoining desks. As I bounced between temporarily available seats over the course of the summer, developing a deeper understanding of different projects and closer relationships with my fellow coworkers, I quickly realized that SF’s open floor plan facilitates a collaborative work environment and speaks to the firm’s people-centric culture. I am incredibly grateful to the SF staff for taking a genuine interest in my development and making me feel like part of the team. I received constant guidance and support from my supervisors, who assigned me work based on my interests and were just as willing to answer questions in my fourth week as they had been on my first day. The team members, universally inspiring in their knowledge and passion, were always open to sharing their experiences. Bonding occasions ranging from impromptu coffee breaks to “Food Truck Fridays” were highlights of the internship.

As a leader in the Pay for Success and Social Innovation Financing industry, Social Finance is uniquely positioned to provide a highly engaging interdisciplinary summer experience. I would strongly recommend this internship to students who are interested in exercising their communications skills, learning about impact investing, and observing the collaboration of multiple sectors—public, private, and nonprofit. 

Maddie Sewani '16

Boston, MA / Cambridge, MA