What are the alternatives to a SIB?

If your goal is sustainability through government involvement…

SIBs can be seen as a way to achieve sustainability for social and health services, beyond the traditional philanthropic model – a way to begin bringing government on board.

Another way to achieve the same goal is to bring on government bodies and local authorities as a match funder, to ensure they have a stake in any successes.

For bigger organisations which are prepared to take the risk on their balance sheet, a straight outcomes-based style of commissioning can work. You’d need to be sufficiently confident in your programme design and ability to achieve outcomes!


“We couldn’t continue funding basic healthcare provision - what was the exit strategy for a grant-maker like us? We see SIBs as a way to make the service sustainable.”

– Issue-based SIB developer


If your goal is an ethical, socially responsible financing solution...

If the concept of profit in this context does not sit well with your organisation and stakeholders, it is possible to restrict finance contracts to organisations who guarantee that profits will be reinvested in further work for social benefit.

If your goal is expanding your funder base…

SIBs can be a useful way of pooling the resources of various stakeholders when the value of what you deliver is hard to define financially or benefits several different organisations.

If the SIB mechanism is too complicated, you can ensure your attractiveness to each different stakeholder by doing a high quality cost benefit analysis to explicitly define the financial benefit of your programme in each case.

SIBs take a variety of different forms, and while the label might be attractive to some, it is theoretically possible to design an up-front investment model that doesn’t have the complexity of a SIB.