top of page

Are You Ready for Results-based Donation Models?

Communities across the world face a variety of pressing social challenges. While this is not surprising or new, there are some new initiatives that seek to drive better outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. Results-based donation models are an innovative way for communities and organizations to partner with philanthropists, foundations, and government funders to deliver better outcomes at a lower cost. Instead of funding services regardless of the results, funding is linked with impact performance and funders pay for concrete, measurable outcomes that are agreed upon in advance.

This new model places the responsibility of maintaining a data-driven measurement culture on both funders and non-profit and government service providers and holds them accountable for achieving specific results. One example is Ohio’s results-based donation model ResultsOHIO.


ResultsOHIO enables policymakers and innovators to pursue results-based projects aimed at tackling the most pressing social and public health challenges facing Ohio. The financing and service delivery mechanism offers a relatively new way to engage expertise and private capital outside of public entities in order to pursue projects that benefit the public good. ResultsOHIO establishes the framework through which these innovative projects can be implemented while ensuring that the public gets the most for its money.

Through ResultsOHIO, innovative projects are assessed to determine whether they will be able to deliver real results at their conclusion. In order to apply for ResultsOHIO, organizations are asked to describe how they will be able to provide the data necessary to demonstrate their positive project outcomes. Some of the questions include:

  • Describe the extent to which the project is significant, with respect to the generation of external economic and public/State benefits

  • Define how the applicant’s historical data and external public or private data can be used to measure success and calculate achievement for the proposed performance metrics

  • Define which data sets are anticipated to serve as the baseline for measuring the intervention(s) against the anticipated KPIs or outcomes

  • Provide the evidence base and/or track record for the program (e.g., describe the use of evidence-based practices, national models, outcomes, qualitative community and participant feedback, etc.)

To date, five projects have been deemed appropriate and ready for ResultsOHIO:

  • Cincinnati Works - Seeks to expand long-term supports that not only focus on job skills and employment, but also address physical, psychological, spiritual, legal, and practical needs

  • Columbus Works - The project seeks to expand career, life, and financial coaching, job placement services and wraparound supports to individuals as a means to address barriers to self-sufficiency, including legal services, medical and behavioral health care, and housing.

  • Every Child Succeeds - With a focus on reducing preterm births and its adverse impacts on mothers, infants, and families, Every Child Succeeds provides a year of home visiting services to high-risk pregnant women.

  • National Guard Scholarship - The proposal encourages on-time graduation and the maximizing of military benefits among Ohio National Guard Scholarship students. This will be pursued through the utilization of a service provider to deliver coaching services prior to enrollment and during the first year of post-secondary education.

  • OneFifteen Recovery Project - With a mission to heal people experiencing substance use disorders, OneFifteen seeks to expand its integrated and accessible continuum of care for individuals in southwest Ohio’s criminal justice system.

Bay Area Donor Impact Fund

In the San Francisco Bay Area, twenty-three women philanthropists joined forced to pioneer a new funding model called the Bay Area Donor Impact Fund (DIF). DIF is a private results-based donation fund that aims to drive upward economic mobility for over 800 people in the Bay Area. Three nonprofits were selected to receive performance-based donations over the next five years as they prove they have achieved their impact goals:

  • MAF – Their goal is to help 615 primarily Hispanic/Latinx immigrants that are credit invisible establish a credit score for the very first time through innovative Lending Circles.

  • 10,000 Degrees – Their goal is to support 160 low-income community college students transfer to 4-year colleges and complete baccalaureate degrees.

  • Rivet School – Their goal is to support 50 low-income students, mostly working adults and parent learners, graduate with a baccalaureate degree through an innovative, competency-based online degree program.

Kim Mazzuca, President & CEO of 10,000 Degrees. “This unique and performance-driven model is transforming philanthropy from a purely transactional relationship to a true partnership, where investors, donors and supporters alike are an integral part of mission-based solutions that have sustainable impact.”

Data-driven Story Telling

ResultsOHIO and the Bay Area Donor Impact Fund differ in some of their approaches to driving long-term impact, they both address complex community challenges by requiring grantees to prove their impact. The non-profit sector has always been in the business of changing lives and circumstances, but results-based donation models require organizations to provide impact data in order to receive funding. These new models have the potential to greatly increase the social return on investment for the participating organizations, but it also requires them to establish a data-driven, high measurement organizational culture. (See our blog 4 Steps for Illustrating a Compelling Impact Story).

SureImpact is passionate about helping our customers realize positive social change through innovation and insights. Our cloud case management and reporting platform enables all members of the social-service sector to seamlessly communicate their unique social impact to their funders and stakeholders.

To learn more about how your organization can prepare to participate in a results-based donation model, check out our on-demand webinar “5 Tips to Ensure Readiness for Results-based Donation Models.”


bottom of page