Getting Started in PFS: Assessing the Feasibility Landscape (part 1)

In our last blog we laid out the foundation of Pay for Success (PFS) and now we’re ready to start getting into the details of what it takes. And as our title suggests, the first step is assessing the landscape in your community.

‘Feasibility process’ is a term we use to describe the period when communities are determining whether Pay for Success is a good fit for them. As you’ve already seen with the Key Components tool from our previous blog, this process involves lots of data and cost benefit analyses that all build a case for the new or scaled up service.

But we’ll let you in on a secret: The best designed service with the most compelling cost benefit study in the world won’t be procured and contracted unless it has the support of the right people in the community.

That’s why the tools in this ‘Assessing the Feasibility Landscape’ segment are ones that help you to decide who should be around the table for your meetings on Pay for Success.

  1. Potential end payers worksheet: This form includes guidance for thinking about end payers – entities that pay for outcomes – and can be used to keep track of organizations that might be interested in this role and how they would benefit from the project. Most importantly, it asks you to estimate an entity’s level of knowledge of PFS, so you can know where to focus your outreach and education efforts.Note: If you are reading this as a potential end payer, you probably won’t need this form.


  1. Design team worksheet: Your PFS design team is the core group of people dedicated to carrying out the feasibility process. These teams range from two to twelve people. More important than numbers is the ability to lead each part of feasibility. Roles may include: data point person, service designer, end payer liaison, supportive housing expert, and funding decision maker. This form helps you to build your dream team.


  1. Leadership team worksheet: The leadership team is comprised of people who are not involved in the day-to-day feasibility work but still need to be aware of progress in order to guide the overall direction of the program. They may be updated on a bimonthly or quarterly basis, or when the feasibility process has reached particular milestones. These leaders are the champions of Pay for Success in your community.


You might be wondering how end payers fit into your design and leadership teams. Potential or committed payers should be included in as much of the process as they have capacity and will to carry out. If your end payer wants to help build the service, the design team is the right place for them. If they prefer to ‘check in’ on a regular basis, the leadership team might be more appropriate.

Having the right people on board from the start will greatly improve your chances of implementing a PFS project to scale supportive housing.

Next: Tools to assess your feasibility landscape (part 2)

Copyright 2022 ©  by CSH. All Rights Reserved