Social Impact Investing

Since 2017, the Department of Social Services has committed $52.7 million to:

  • grow the Social Impact Investing (SII) market in Australia
  • create innovative solutions to entrenched social issues.

 Social impact investing creates partnerships between: 

  • governments
  • providers 
  • investors
  • philanthropists.

SII Initiatives 

The SII project aims to inform the Government approach to growing the SII market through: 

  • Two trials aiming to test the effectiveness of the financial model to address social disadvantage:
  • Two capacity building trials aim to understand how the Government can support and strengthen the SII sector:
    • Sector Readiness Fund: providing grants to established social enterprises for services to enable them to attract investment.
    • Outcomes Measurement Initiative: to identify the outcomes measurement needs of the sector. Building the outcome measurement capability of for-purpose organisations, to attract investment.

Australian Government Principles for Social Impact Investing

These initiatives are established in line with Australian Government Principles for Social Impact Investing, which were developed in consultation with the SII sector.  Where the Australian Government is involved in social impact investments, agencies must take into account the following Principles:

  • the Government's role as an enabler and developer of the market
  • value for money co-design with stakeholders
  • fair sharing of risk and return
  • robust outcomes-based measurement and evaluation, and
  • outcomes that align with Australian Government policy priorities. 

For further information on these principles and how they were developed, visit The Treasury at Social Impact Investing |

Evaluation of the SII Initiatives 

The SII Evaluation will seek to answer questions about: 

  • the Government’s role in building the SII market
  • the effectiveness of outcome based financial models; and
  • how to better address entrenched social disadvantage.

The Evaluation will also look at how the SII initiatives:

  • Have contributed to the broader SII market
  • Have changed the social sector
  • Have supported government reforms 
  • Could help the Government address significant social disadvantage, and
  • Could define the Government's role in the SII market to:
    • deliver social outcomes better
    • strengthen social enterprises; and
    • attract private investment


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