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DCF, Discover and Longwood pilot social impact investing with Blood Bank

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The Delaware Community Foundation (DCF), Discover Bank and the Longwood Foundation are piloting “Pay for Success,” an innovative type of social impact grantmaking, for the first time in Delaware.

The DCF Social Impact Fund was created in 2017 with a gift to the DCF from Discover Bank.

Using the Pay for Success model of social impact investment, the DCF Social Impact Fund made a grant of $450,000 to the Blood Bank of Delmarva, an affiliate of the New York Blood Center.

The Blood Bank will use the money for a project to increase the number of millennials donating blood. The Blood Bank has a goal of securing 500 units of blood from millennial donors over the course of three consecutive years.

When the Blood Bank meets the goal, the Longwood Foundation will “pay back” the $450,000 with a premium into the DCF Social Impact Fund. This will make the money available for the DCF Social Impact Fund to invest in another initiative to drive social change.

This is the first social impact initiative in Delaware. Social impact initiatives have already succeeded in 22 other states.

“Our goal is to help the community maximize the impact of the charitable resources available. Pay for Success is one of the many creative, effective tools we use to help stretch philanthropic dollars for community benefit,” DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay said.

The DCF, Discover and Longwood worked with the Blood Bank initiative partly to demonstrate the Pay for Success model for the General Assembly. The General Assembly recently passed legislation to allow the state government to enter into Pay for Success contracts to incentivize private funding of economic development and social impact initiatives. That legislation was signed into law by Gov. John Carney last week.

“Pay for Success is a win-win-win idea,” said There du Pont, president of the Longwood Foundation. “It’s an exciting way to seed social change initiatives that are well planned and positioned to succeed.”

“Discover Bank believes in making strategic investments that help build stronger communities,” said James Roszkowski, president of Discover Bank. “We are delighted to be an early investor of the Blood Bank of Delmarva Pay for Success model, along with the Delaware Community Foundation and the Longwood Foundation.”

“As a recent pay-for-success partnership grant recipient, we can see how beneficial this unique arrangement is for Delaware,” said Michele Hart-Henry, vice president and chief operating officer of the Blood Bank of Delmarva. “The Blood Bank of Delmarva will be expanding our operations while having both the expectation and the support to be accountable for our results.”

Social Finance, a nonprofit organization with deep experience designing and managing PFS projects, served as project advisor.

“We are proud to have supported the DCF Social Impact Fund to structure Delaware’s first Pay for Success initiative,” said Tracy Palandjian, CEO and co-founder of Social Finance. “With this project, DCF and their project partners are paving the way for future Pay for Success projects that improve the lives of Delawareans.”

Pictured, left to right: Longwood Foundation President There du Pont,  Michele Hart-Henry, vice president and chief operating officer of the Blood Bank of Delmarva; John Ferretti, New York Blood Center board trustee; Stuart Comstock-Gay, Delaware Community Foundation president and CEO; Amy Walls, Discover Assistant CRA Director