Signals | April 13, 2017

There is evidence about the results of social programs – and we need more

The team at


“There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually helping results,” President Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney said in proposing budget cuts to afterschool programs and Meals on Wheels.

In fact, there’s ample evidence of the results of those programs and many others, argue Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Antony Bugg-Levine and Independent Sector’s Dan Cardinali.

In Los Angeles, supportive housing has been shown to lower hospital costs of treating homeless patients. The Nurse-Family Partnership has shown how inexpensive services improve the long-term health of young mothers and their babies.

Most government grants and contracts, however, require short-term outputs (like beds filled or meals served) with little attention to long-term results (like ending homelessness), the pair write.

“We are proud to be part of a growing, cross-sector and bipartisan movement of service providers, funders and impact investors working to collectively reorient around outcomes and results.”

This post originally appeared in ImpactAlpha’s daily newsletter. Get The Brief.

Photo credit: The Fix / Shutterstock