Urban Institute researchers evaluate federal, state, and local government programs and policies. Early on, we pioneered performance-management techniques government agencies still use to evaluate and improve public services, from economic development to garbage collection. And now we're adapting those strategies for the nonprofit sector—at home and abroad. Read more.
Social impact bonds (SIBs) inject private-sector capital into public-sector activities for improved outcomes and innovation. Private investors fund interventions that are uncomfortably risky or expensive for the public sector. If established performance targets are met, investors are rewarded with the profits. Otherwise, the government does not pay for the services delivered. In the SIB model everybody may win: investors leverage resources for potential profit and provide a socially beneficial investment, while the government gets private-sector investment for a new intervention. We believe that Bill B20-125 is insufficient to support SIBs in the District of Columbia.
The federal government spent approximately 30 percent of its annual budget in fiscal year 2011 on purchasing services and supporting local and state governments, tribal organizations, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit firms through contracts and grants. The nonprofit sector, in turn, relies heavily on government for revenue to perform services and provide goods to clients. As of 2010, nearly one-third of revenue sources for reporting public charities come from the government (Blackwood, Roeger, and Pettijohn 2012). This brief provides an overview of the main funding mechanisms the government uses and highlights the characteristics of contracts and grants.
The Great Recession and the corresponding collapse of the housing market have had far-reaching effects on communities across the country. With nonprofits and local governments both trying to do more with less, Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) commissioned a study to crystallize the tools its affiliates need to nurture successful collaborations. Synthesizing information gleaned from a literature review, an extensive web survey of Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) affiliates, and case studies of three communities, this report suggests concrete strategies to plan, build, and sustain relationships with local government partners.
The trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program for firms was authorized by the Trade Act of 1974, to assist manufacturing firms adversely affected by increased international trade with companies that produce products imported at increased levels and have declining sales and employment. The report presents the analyses and findings of business management, technical assistance and current processes provided to firms.
In April 2012, Living Cities asked the Urban Institute to study the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, and the HUD Regional Planning Grants specifically, as a way to understand how the federal government could break down "silos," institutional or political barriers to cooperative and collaborative efforts. The research team reviewed key documents and conducted in-person interviews with personnel at federal agencies as well as organizations leading the regional planning grant projects in five case sites. These findings suggest that federal efforts can, in fact, contribute to breaking down silos both within the federal government and at the regional level.