Investing in Oklahoma!

                                           March 2015                                                    

Phil Peterson & Pay for Success

Earlier in March, Phil Peterson with ReadyNation made a  tour speaking in Oklahoma City, Stillwater and Tulsa on the topic of Pay for Success opportunities.

With Oklahoma facing a budget shortfall of over $611 million, Peterson made the point that every dollar needs to be invested wisely. This also means that state dollars need to work with dollars from the private sector to have the most impact.
Among the best ways to maximize the potential of state and private dollars are Pay For Success (PFS) opportunities. PFS is a term for performance-based contracting in the social sector where government only pays social service providers if results are achieved rather than providing cost reimbursement payments.
PFS projects require government, service providers, and funders to agree on targeted outcomes for a societal issue. Government and project partners then enter into a multi-year contract, in which the government agrees to make success payments if targeted outcomes are achieved.

PFS projects in other states have already been invested in by funders such as Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. Now it's time to bring those projects in to work for Oklahoma.

If you were unable to attend but would still like a copy of Peterson's presentation, please email Matt Hatcher at and he will arrange a way to share that presentation with you.


From the President 

(PFF President & CEO Pat Potts)

Pay for Success or Pay for Failure?

Last week we had the opportunity to bring Phil Peterson to Oklahoma. He is a national expert in finance and economics including the social impact from investment focused on early childhood.
In a time of increasing need and reduction of government funding for preventative programs, Pay for Success (PFS) offers an opportunity for expanded public-private partnerships. These partnerships would be directed to programs that serve disadvantaged families and young children where the greatest return on investment can be captured not only for the individual child, but for society as a whole.
Rather than continuing to support failing programs, Oklahoma can instead choose to focus funds on evidence-based programs that diminish the need for remedial education and services, behavioral related costs, public assistance and incarceration. When funds are focuses in these high ROI areas, taxpayer costs are reduced and pilot programs can be launched with no start-up funds needed from taxpayers. If cost savings are realized from these programs, a percentage is used to pay back private investors, if there are no cost savings realized, taxpayers owe nothing to private investors.
The start-up money for Pay for Success programs comes from investors such as corporate entities or philanthropic organizations/individuals who believe, based on research-based feasibility studies, that the program will have effective cost-savings through cost-avoidance. 
Nearly 300 legislators, business and community leaders heard Peterson's presentations. He reported that Salt Lake City had one of the five such Pay for Success projects already implemented. Oklahoma has already used this vehicle for the "Women In Recovery" project that the George Kaiser Family Foundation started. This project is producing results which are resulting in cost savings for Tulsa and our state.
We urge legislators and business and community leaders to consider Pay for Success legislation and initiatives as an opportunity to invest more wisely in Oklahoma's future.
Dates & Data

The following data is from OK

50.6: Percentage of Oklahoma's 77 counties that saw population growth from 2013 to 2014. (Source: Pew Charitable Trusts)

45,690: Annual median income in Oklahoma for 2013, down from $46,025 in 2000 (adjusted for inflation). (Source: Pew Charitable Trusts)

22: Percentage drop in eligible voter turnout from 2010 - 2014 (Source: Nonprofit VOTE)

32,000: Median annual earnings for women employed full-time, year-round in Oklahoma, lower than in 42 other states.
(Source: Institute for Women's Policy Research)

39: Oklahoma’s place in Gallup’s 2014 State Well-Being Ranking
(Source: Gallup)

Stress From Poverty Decreases Brain Size In Infants As Young As One Month Old

"Though reversible, the effects of socioeconomic status on cognitive ability are more pronounced than scientists imagined."
A new study published March 30 from Nature Neuroscience found that as household income increased, brain surface area increased as well.

To read more, click here.

To view the new study, click here.


Jessica Pfau joins OKCEO

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Director of Programming for Southern Oklahoma, Jessica Pfau recently agreed to become an Oklahoma Champion for Early Opportunities. Pfau has a distinguished background in business ownership, law and politics. 
Pfau received her Bachelors of Science and Master's of Science in Criminology from Florida State University in 1989 and 1990 respectively.
Pfau then went on to attend law school at Texas Tech University earning her Juris Doctor and was admitted to practice law in 1993.
After practicing law at several law firms, she moved to Ardmore become a business owner and serving as Executive Director for Ardmore Village for 12 years.
After running for office for the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2014, Pfau accepted her current position with the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits as Director of Programming for Southern Oklahoma.

Video: The First 1,000 Days

A moving look at the crucial first 1,000 days of a child's early development. During that time, the closeness and quality of the parent/caregiver's relationship with the child provides the "raw ingredients" that help form a healthy brain. Low-income families face serious challenges to this bond. There are programs that help parents through this time and prep kids for pre-K.

Click here to watch the video.


Supreme Court Rules Against UPS In Pregnancy Discrimination Case

When UPS put a pregnant woman on unpaid leave after requesting that she be assigned to light weight duty work like other employees who are partially disabled are, she brought suit alleging discrimination. UPS tried to argue that since light-weight work was not guaranteed for any specific class of worker, it did not technically discriminate against their pregnant employee. The Supreme Court ruled against UPS but rejected both of their arguments in a 6-3 decision.


Dr. Robert Putnam: Why You Should Care About Other People's Kids

Potts Family Foundation had the pleasure of bringing Dr. Robert Putnam to Oklahoma last year to share about income inequality and how it effects not only childhood development but our society and nation and state's economic wellbeing.
In his article written for PBS, Dr. Putnam explains some of what he discovered while gather information and data for his new book, "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis."


OKC Mayor Mick Cornett Reflects On Why Health Is So Important To The Future of OKC

County Health Rankings recently released its 2015 national, state and county health rankings with Oklahoma behind the national average on almost every single health factor with the exception of binge drinking. In his opinion editorial Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett discusses how far Oklahoma City has come and how the city will need to invest in the health of its citizens in order to keep the city growing.


To see the 2015 County Health Rankings and how Oklahoma fares, click here.
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