Outcomes Finance

Supportive funding tools that directly and measurably improve Indigenous lives.
Specialized Investment Readiness and Impact Advisory Services Team

We believe that to make a transformational change we must rethink how we approach social problems, and we must center Indigenous communities and Indigenous knowledge in that approach.

Outcomes financing is a truly new opportunity to have transformative outcomes in Indigenous communities.

We have to rethink how we address social problems in order to make lasting change in our communities.
- Jeff Cyr, CEO RIIF

We believe that in-community services can be delivered in new and innovative ways, that instead of the government contracting services to 3rd parties, they agree instead to pay for the achievement of measurable outcomes linked to the improvement of people's lives. This methodology (which we have called Community-Driven Outcomes Contracts) allows us to onboard private capital to fully support upfront cost; puts solutions in the hands of Indigenous communities; builds out Indigenous social enterprises; and engages governments to pay for success.

Innovation and Creativity for Addressing Social Problems

Raven provides the expertise to work with Indigenous communities and enterprises to develop innovative financial tools that address critical social, financing, and policy barriers. These tools have great potential for the beneficiary communities to scale effective solutions as well as offer investors and outcomes purchasers' new pathways to deploy capital and achieve robust social outcomes.

Our collective experience working in and engaging with Indigenous communities is that current funding models and approaches have failed to produce lasting change or impact. Indigenous communities face the most pressing social and economic problems in Canada and billions of dollars of annualized spending by the state has largely failed to achieve better outcomes. At Raven, we believe that in order to make lasting change we have to rethink how we approach social problems, and we have to center Indigenous communities and Indigenous knowledge in that approach. That is the only way we can drive solutions that work at scale.

Clear Solutions for Community Driven Outcomes

The Foundation works with Indigenous communities and enterprises to develop innovative financial tools. These tools have great potential for the beneficiary communities to scale effective solutions as well as offer investors and outcomes purchasers’ new pathways to deploy capital and achieve robust social outcomes.

Raven undertakes a 3-stage process in order to develop innovative social finance solutions with communities;

  1. Deep Community Engagement: As an Indigenous Social finance intermediary we work with Indigenous social enterprises and communities, to identify critical barriers and build on what works.
  2. Indigenous Solutions Lab: Raven builds and deploys Indigenous Solutions Lab processes that take communities, experts, outcomes buyers and investors through a design to execution process leading to social finance solutions (business case) that can be brought to market.
  3. Social Finance Instruments: Raven designs and deploys social finance instruments engaging and securing outcomes purchasers, investors and partners.

At the core of this process, we maintain a focus on investment readiness and cost-effectiveness in the development of Community-Driven Outcomes Contracts. Currently, Raven has developed a first-of-its-kind Community-Driven Outcomes Contract for geothermal installation on-reserve in Manitoba. The delivery agent for the contract is Aki Energy Inc., an award-winning Indigenous social enterprise. The aim of which is to install 125 residential retrofits in on-reserve housing, with an eventual goal to operate at scale of 500+ units.

The use of this new energy funding model raised intriguing possibilities about new ways of tackling the diabetes epidemic in Indigenous communities. In partnership with the Lawson Foundation, health experts and representatives of six First Nations based in PEI and Manitoba, Raven has convened a series of Indigenous Solutions Labs (ISL) to determine the needs and prioritize holistic, community-driven interventions that would reduce diabetes and its complications of the course of five-years.

Community benefits:
  • Access to investment capital
  • Sustainable community development model
  • Strengthened relationships across sectors
  • Multiple community outcomes
Impact investor benefits:
  • Reduced risk
  • Guaranteed ROI
  • Opportunities to scale measured impact
  • New relationships with Indigenous communitySDG and TRC aligned outcomes
Outcomes purchaser benefits:
  • Only pay if an outcome is generated
  • Economies of scale generates discount per buyer
  • Support specific outcomes of interest
  • Incentivize additional investment in future outcomes
  • Look beyond short-term funding cycles
  • Support the creation of a more sustainable social-purpose finance model

The process in action.

Geo-Thermal Outcomes Contract

  • The initial Community-Driven Outcomes Contract process began when communities identified a need for energy cost reduction interventions, energy sovereignty, as well as innovations to improve the health and vitality of families and communities.
  • AKI Energy entered as our implementation partner offering the capacity to meet the need in the form of installing geo-exchange units in communities but required a more flexible funding model to allow the implementation of units in a manner that honours community priorities, adheres to community values, and fosters self-determination of First Nations peoples.
  • To date, 70 geothermal exchange units have been installed successfully as part of the negotiated outcomes contract.
  • Next steps include...
    • Completion of the outcomes contract and sharing the outcomes verification report to inspire further evaluation and learning
    • Working with current and additional partners to scale

Geo-thermal energy is a clean, renewable source of energy that uses the stable temperature of the earth to heat and cool buildings. Aki Energy works with First Nations to lower energy costs and create employment opportunities through geothermal energy

Diabetes Reduction Bond
  • While diabetes is a global epidemic, prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes is an estimated 3-5 times higher in Indigenous Peoples in Canada than in non-Indigenous Canadians. The Diabetes Reduction Bond will attempt to move this dial and address these issues within our communities, driven by our defined Outcomes and informed by our Indigenous context.
  • Our target communities are in the Island Lake region of northern Manitoba and in the Atlantic province of Prince Edward Island.
  • Raven launched the Diabetes Reduction Bond in 2019 with the kickoff of our Indigenous Solutions Lab process where we engaged with our participating communities.
  • We achieved significant success in a short period of time with the support of key partners and the active participation of communities. Namely, we were able to:
    • Identify community needs priorities
    • Collaboratively build a theory of change and set of values to guide the work
    • Complete a robust Burden of Illness in each community.
    • Begin design work on a holistic and culturally informed suite of interventions with associated outcomes.
    • Begin costing models on interventions and begin recruiting for an expanded team
  • While the pandemic slowed certain activities, and more importantly exacerbated all health and wellness burdens experienced by the communities, we were able to remain on track and continue to work.
  • Our priority for 2022 is the completion of the lab process and development of business case.

What is a Community-Driven Outcomes Contract?

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