Pay for Success RFI - Questions and Responses

Submitted Questions and Responses

Updated: 04/06/2016

 Submitted Questions and Responses (pdf)

General Questions

  1. Where can I find a copy of the RFI?

A copy of the RFI can be found on the DHS website:

  1. Will the webinar be recorded and made publically available?

Yes. A copy of the webinar is available on the DHS website: 

  1. Will a list of agencies that participated in the webinar be publically available?

Yes. A list of the organizations that participated is available on the DHS website:

  1. Is the RFI related to the CRP program or the AIM initiative? How can non-profits connect with AIM?

The RFI is not directly connected to AIM or CRP. The CRP program is being led by the State CIO and IDHS is continually aligning key business and technology strategies with other transformational initiatives.

  1. Where will future RFPs be posted?

All formal solicitations by the State are published on the Illinois Procurement Bulletin.

  1. Why did the department pursue an RFI instead of an RFP?

This RFI is an opportunity for DHS to learn about new and innovative ideas from the provider community as well as target populations that they otherwise may not be familiar with. The information received in the RFI will help the department better develop a potential RFP in the future.

Pay for Success Questions

  1. What is the role of an investor in a pay for success project? What types of investors typically participate in pay for success transactions? How does a funder get a return on their investment? When is payment actually made to the investors?

Funders play a pivotal role in providing up-front operating capital to the selected provider or intermediary during the project implementation stages. Payments are made back to the funders only if outcomes are achieved, demonstrated by an evaluation. Each project uses a different timeframe for measuring outcomes.

Several different types of funders are attracted to the Pay for Success model, including philanthropic and commercial lenders. A good resource for learning about the funding models can be found here:

  1. Who have been intermediaries on other pay for success projects? How can providers connect with potential intermediaries?

There are a range of national and local intermediaries that have participated in Pay for Success projects in the past.

You can find the list of entities who have participated in previous PFS projects here:

  1. Who decides whether a provider's project is appropriate - the government or the investor? Or both decide in tandem? Who ultimately decides that a project is just not achieving planned outcomes and should be defunded?

Typically, the government will select a project or provider from a competitively bid RFP. Investors are usually brought to the table after the government's award but prior to a contract being signed. If funders are not willing to take on the project risks, the project will not move forward.

If a project is already launched and outcomes are not being achieved, there is typically a governance structure in place that determines if, when, and how a project should be suspended, terminated, or wound down. In this RFI, we are looking for suggestions on how various governance structures could work.

  1. Where can we find examples of other pay for success projects? What have been their outcomes?

Please see below for a list of useful resources:

  • Harvard Government Performance Lab:
  • Brookings Institute: bonds-potential-limitations/impact-bondsweb.pdf  
  • NonProfit Finance Fund:
  1. Who is the final payer in the project? Who actually pays for the success - the funder or the government?

This depends on the outcomes achieved. If the impacts achieve or exceed expectations, the government provides payments to the provider or intermediary for repayment to the funders. If impacts are not

achieved, the government does not pay for the services and funders are not repaid - in essence making the funder the final payer.

  1. What types of programs do pay for success projects typically fund? Can they fund general operating support for an existing supportive housing program? Or are they only for new and innovative ideas? Can this model be used as a way to turn around currently floundering programs?

Pay for Success is a mechanism to explore innovative interventions on a particular target population. Typically the interventions are preventive to maximize government benefits and savings in the future. Pay for Success is not used to fund core or existing services.

  1. What resources are available for providers to learn more about pay for success?

Additional resources are available at:

  • Harvard Government Performance Lab:
  • Brookings Institute: bonds-potential-limitations/impact-bondsweb.pdf
  • Non Profit Finance Fund:
  1. Are pay for success projects limited to large organizations? How can smaller organizations compete?

There is no limit on the size of the organization applying. Smaller organizations are encouraged to submit ideas, even if their capacity is limited for implementation. Additionally, smaller organizations can always collaborate with other organizations to implement Pay for Success projects.

  1. How do you qualify to be an evaluator?

Independent evaluators are generally selected through a separate mechanism.

RFI and Policy Related Questions

  1. How much funding is available for this project in total?

At this time, the Department is looking for information on projects of all sizes.

  1. Is it required that services proposed be Medicaid reimbursable?

No, this is not a requirement for the RFI.

  1. What is the timeframe under which savings or benefits to the State can be realized?

The RFI is seeking responses that provide suggestions of timeframes for realizing future benefits and savings.

  1. Can responses be collaborative (i.e. can there be multiple agencies or stakeholders that respond to one RFI)?

Yes, the RFI response can be a collaborative effort including more than one agency or stakeholder.

  1. Will there be preferential treatment in the RFP for agencies that submit responses to the RFI?


  1. For supportive housing related responses, must organizations have housing available before the license application? And are there restrictions or expectations on how large the space must be for each individual? Or restrictions on the type of housing proposed (e.g. apartment, house, building)?

There are no restrictions for the RFI responses. The RFI is seeking responses that detail providers' ideas for generating better outcomes, including answers to these types of questions.

  1. What definition of homelessness should we be using in responses?

The RFI does not limit the definition of homelessness or any other term. Please specify any definitions you are using in your response for clarification.

  1. Are response ideas limited to the listed policy areas?

There are no restrictions for the RFI responses. The listed policy areas are areas of priority for the department but should not constrict your ideas.

  1. Will the state be providing any baseline data for the RFI?

No baseline data will be provided for the RFI besides publically available data already on the DHS website.

  1. Are there baseline expectations for the amount of savings to the state?

No. It is important to remember that the benefits and savings to the State must be greater than the cost of the intervention in order to be a financially viable project.

  1. Who determines what the payment outcomes will be?

All ideas are welcome at this stage. The RFI is looking for respondents to provide suggestions of potential payment outcomes.

In past Pay for Success projects, the government and provider jointly developed the payment outcomes.

  1. Can proposals address multiple policy areas?


  1. What is the timeframe for the future RFP? What are the steps that will occur after the RFI responses are submitted?

Responses from the RFI may inform a future RFP but no decisions have been determined at this time.

  1. Are there geographic limitations or expectations for the target population? For example, would community capacity have to be built across the entire state?

All ideas are welcome at this stage. The RFI is looking to respondents to provide suggestions of potential geographic areas and target populations.

  1. Is there a scale for the number of people in the target population?

All ideas are welcome at this time. It is important to remember that any target population must have enough scale to provide a statistically significant evaluation.

  1. Are there limits on the number of responses one agency/entity can provide?