Innovative Finance | August 19, 2021

Social Finance raises $49.9 million for workforce-focused UP Fund

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, August 19 – The W.K. Kellogg, Inherent and Phillips foundations are among the latest backers of Social Finance’s UP Fund, which deploys “career impact bonds” to upskill American workers in high-demand fields (learn more here).

The fund has so far initiated impact bonds with General Assembly, Acuitus, Alchemy Code Lab and American Diesel Training Centers. Financing covers the up-front cost of enrolled learners. Learners repay the programs’ tuition at a predetermined rate and payment period after they secure well-paying jobs in their new fields.

The fund aims to support 8,000 workers.

DAF backing

Roughly 17% of UP Fund’s commitments are from donor-advised funds, or DAFs. Social Finance has attracted DAF account holders at the The Boston Foundation, the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Fidelity Charitable and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Social Finance expects to reach a final close for the fund later this year.

Pay it forward

Separately, Social Finance is partnering with a half-dozen state governments to upskill workers from underserved communities. “Pay it forward” programs in New Jersey and other states are based on an income-based repayment model similar to UP Fund’s career impact bonds.