Social Finance

Social Finance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing capital to drive social progress. We bring uncommon partners together around a common purpose: to measurably improve the lives of those in need. Our projects tackle complex social challenges, such as education and health disparities, chronic homelessness, and workforce development.

Core to our work is the development of Pay for Success, a set of innovative financing strategies that drive resources toward results. Pay for Success strategies include social impact bonds, outcomes rate cards, and career impact bonds.

Social Finance partners with governments, service providers, foundations, and impact investors to create innovative financing solutions that improve social outcomes. Our social investment and advisory services teams support our partners to improve service delivery and long-term outcomes through Pay for Success. We are also committed to developing a strong Pay for Success field through market education, publications, events, research and analysis.

Role and Responsibilities

The Director’s Intern will:

  • Serve as an integral member of the communications team, which may include managing the firm’s social media platforms, developing marketing materials, monitoring press and public discussion of Social Finance, and contributing to internal knowledge building
  • Research social issue areas, intervention-based programs and nonprofit service providers to support advisory projects and social investments
  • Support market education and partnership development efforts, which may include creating original content and coordinating events
  • Perform additional tasks as assigned

The internship will be an opportunity for students to develop professional skills while learning about impact investing, evidence-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.

2019 Intern Reflection:

My time at Social Finance has been one of the most valuable internship experiences I've ever had. This welcoming team is filled with the smartest, most-driven, enthusiastic people from whom you will learn so much just by grabbing a casual cup of coffee. In particular, I've been able to work closely with the Communications Team and develop my writing and social media skills. I currently run their social media accounts and keep the whole team and Board informed through daily news articles on the impact investing field. Beyond Communications, I've also been able to explore advisory projects. The small-team model gives the other interns and myself great opportunities to really get involved, take on responsibility in talking with partners, and craft materials and resources for the project teams.

Social Finance is unique in that it is at the frontier of the Pay for Success field and impact investment. It is an organization positioned at the intersection of the public, private, and nonprofit work and covers a range of constantly overlapping issue areas. By nature, I love dipping my toes into multiple subjects and issue areas, but there is truly something for everyone here as long as you have an interest in social sciences. As an economics concentrator constantly searching for ways to implement the rigor of evidence-based studies to actionable solutions- this was the perfect fit for my interests. Anyone with an interest in impact investing, evidence-based policy, and/or problem solving social issues- you will learn so much from this internship.

Jessica Williams '20

2018 Intern Reflection: 

My summer internship at Social Finance has been an incredible experience so far. I have been able to work on quite a few different projects in different areas of the firm, so really have had a well-rounded experience. Each morning, I collect news articles related to Social Impact Bonds, Pay-For-Success, or other social initiatives that are related to different Social Finance projects and email them out to my coworkers. I also assist with the communications team, and have had the opportunity to work with them on an upcoming project that will help Veteran's struggling with PTSD find employment, which is very important to me as a Veteran. 

Everyone I work with is incredibly helpful, and they all truly care about the work that they do. Before I started the internship, I let my director know that if possible, I would like to learn about the impact investing side of the business. To help me gain some experience in this, my director put me on some projects with the Capital Formation team. With them I have been researching asset manager, foundations, and family offices to help Social Finance look towards financing for future projects. For anybody interested in the Impact Investing space or learning about private-public partnerships, I highly recommend applying to the Social Finance internship.

Thomas Bassett '21

2017 Intern Reflection: 

Through my internship at Social Finance, I have gained in-depth knowledge of the world of impact investing, data and outcome driven programming, public-private partnerships, and specifically, the role of Pay for Success in mobilizing capital to drive social change.  This summer, Social Finance launched the first Pay for Success project focused on workforce development in the United States.  As part of the communications team, I helped craft the messaging strategy, plan the launch event and draft media content.  Additional work for the communications team included managing social media accounts, updating the website, drafting comments for the CEO, creating marketing collateral and planning the content and strategy for the team off-site retreat.  I also was responsible for sending daily news clips to the team about developments in the field.  Beyond my work with the communications team, I performed research on market opportunities for the firm that informed their future strategy.  I synthesized the research and presented it to senior team members and the CEO.  I also supported the client relation management team by synthesizing and organizing data related to the various Social Finance projects and other projects in the broader Pay for Success field.    

Social Finance’s inclusive culture made it easy for me to feel comfortable voicing my opinion and getting involved in interesting projects.  I was encouraged to sit in on meetings and phone calls and team members were always available for questions when I had them.  I felt that my point of view was genuinely valued and there was a real effort on the part of the entire firm to make me feel welcome and included.  Each member of the team was so knowledgeable and passionate about both the daily work they were doing and the people whose lives they were impacting.  With a broad range of backgrounds from finance and consulting, to public policy, to social service and development, the people at Social Finance brought an additional layer of depth to an already innovative and interesting field of work. Social Finance is at a unique intersection of government, private investors and nonprofits and provides an incredible summer experience for anyone interested in using business and finance mechanisms to create positive social impacts.

Rosie Wigglesworth '19

Boston, MA / Cambridge, MA