WLZ’s collaborative model of service delivery is reflected in the project’s innovative financing structure. The Collective Impact Bond (CIB) is inspired by the concept of a Social Impact Bond (SIB). For WLZ, it involves bringing together multiple commissioners – the ‘buyers’ of a broad range of positive outcomes for children and young people – from the public and private sectors, and multiple investors providing working capital to make the project happen.
Find out more about our funders.
The power of WLZ lies in multiple commissioners of support for children and young people recognising that they can be supported more powerfully by coming together and working in a connected way. WLZ sees that a wide variety of funders have a stake in children and young people growing up well:
Councils have an interest in paying for better preventative services for children and young people – accordingly, we are asking Local Authorities to contribute 30% of the total costs. Specifically, this part of the funding mix is likely to come from Public Health, but it could potentially originate from other departments as well, such as Children’s Services, Youth Offending and/or Housing. The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham have made an ‘in principle’ commitment to part-fund our work from Year 1.
Since the turn of the millennium, schools policy has been steadily moving in a direction of broadened responsibilities, greater autonomy, and more direct budget accountability. But most schools recognise that there is a tail of persistent underachievers who have needs that cannot be met from within school. WLZ provides a means to better connect schools to support beyond their own gates – and to also have more influence over it. We are asking schools to contribute slightly under a third of the cost, perhaps partly paid with the Pupil Premium (additional money from the Department for Education for each economically disadvantaged pupil on a school’s roll, of £1,320 for primary pupils and £935 for secondary pupils).
The WLZ model offers a new approach to philanthropic giving for individuals, trusts and corporates. Private contributions have always been a vital component of the funding mix for social causes, but are often contributed with little co-ordination and limited accountability for how the money is spent. Funders often have a motivation to tackle a particular issue and will look to support an organisation that they believe best addresses it. Yet social problems are often highly complex in nature and there is rarely a single solution.
WLZ represents an opportunity for funders to drive a coordinated strategy via a partnership of providers; and to leverage public spending to do so. Through our payment by results mechanism, and by structuring private contributions in the same way as public ones, WLZ can also offer much greater accountability for money contributed. We are asking private wealth to contribute around a fifth of the cost of the CIB. We also expect private wealth to play a key role as we continue to develop our model for early years (0-4 year olds) and post secondary (18-25 year olds), and for discrete projects or up-front investments we may wish to make.
For our current contract, we are using funding from central government to stand in for local commissioners (including health, justice, welfare and housing). We envisage that it will take about three years to evidence the model, during which time the direct benefits to these budget-holders can be assured. The Cabinet Office / Big Lottery ‘Commissioning Better Outcomes’ Fund (CBO) has awarded WLZ funding for this purpose in 2016. This makes up 20% of the total costs for this period, after which we will seek funding from elsewhere.