Developing a SIB is a multi-stage process that can take anything from six months to two or three years.Some aspects of these stages may run in parallel, so it’s worth getting familiar with the steps involved in all three development phases up-front.
Depending on who originated the SIB, different parties may be responsible for some or most of these steps. Is my SIB Provider-Led?
We are not all blessed with a deep understanding of all the issues and details at play in all of this. It may be necessary to develop or incorporate a new set of skills within the project team:
- Traditional fundraising skills including networking and prospect research
- Legal understanding of organisational structures
- Financial awareness (for example an understanding of debt, equity and return)
- Excel modelling
- Knowledge of and contacts within the SIB ‘landscape’
Before you begin:
In hindsight, many of the providers we spoke to expressed a wish that they’d known the resources it would take to develop the SIB, from the initial expressions of interest to the signing of contracts. One said: "even though it's a new and exciting form of funding, I would advise people not to chase after itif it doesn't work naturally."
“I think potential providers would benefit from a realistic expectation. The sense of seeing £££ can give way to disappointment when the true profit potential emerges.”
What other providers have said about partnerships:
Networking is crucial: the SIB community is small and those in the know can put you in touch with all the partners you need. Go to fund briefings, conferences, online networks. And the people to start with are the commissioners.
“I can’t say this often enough: don’t waste time calculating and modelling until a commissioner is interested and committed.”
When you're thinking about outcomes:
The devil is in the details: outcomes can be nebulous and slippery, and SIBs can live or die by their wording.
Keeping outcomes simple:
“Simplicity is key. In their quest for value for money, some commissioners are tempted to include almost impossible burdens of proof and administration, setting the SIB up to fail before it begins.”