We are one of Australia’s leading impact organisations. We specialise in researching, designing, costing, implementing, measuring and financing impact. We have deep experience in the creation of social impact through decades of work in the social sector in Australia and overseas, combined with a track record of investment readiness and supporting clients with their capital raising activities through our network of impact investors and advisors. Since our establishment in 2014, we have worked across a broad range of impact projects, from designing impact measurement frameworks and social impact bonds to creating gender lens investing approaches and social enterprises in the Pacific.
Founder & Managing Director
Sandy has 15 years international development experience in Southern Africa and 10 years corporate experience in professional services and financial services in Australia before founding Social Outcomes. She serves on the board of Hand Heart Pocket, Queensland’s largest philanthropic Foundation, the Advisory board of the Australian Centre for NFP and Philanthropic Studies at QUT and the Australian Advisory Board for the Global Steering Committee on Impact Investing. She has taken an active role in growing the impact investing market in Australia and the region. Sandy was the Head of Social Innovation for Westpac, and was part of the team that built and issued Australia’s first social impact bonds. Sandy also established the Organisational Mentoring Program at Westpac to build the capacity of charities and social enterprises and was involved in strategic grant making through the Westpac Foundation for many years. Sandy established Social Outcomes after co-founding Impact Investing Australia, with a view to focus on the practical implementation of the opportunities that impact investing, social enterprises and outcomes contracting can create. Sandy also has a BSc. from Sydney University, a Grad Dip in Adult Education from the University of Natal in South Africa and a Masters Degree in Education and Work from Macquarie University.
“The shift to focusing on outcomes is creating all sorts of challenges for a number of sectors, but they are the kind of challenges that will make us all better organisations”
Vanessa is a social change practitioner and strategist with more than 25 years experience working with the community, government and corporate sectors, in Australia and abroad. Vanessa has been at the forefront of growing social innovation and impact investing in Australia and the Pacific. Her special areas of expertise include social research, evidence-based social project design and management; payment by outcome and social impact bond design; theories of change and impact measurement frameworks; and social innovation and finance. Vanessa spent many years in the human rights field, fighting for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, people with disabilities, people in same-sex relationships, children, factory workers and human rights activists around the world. While working for a New York-based NGO, Human Rights First, Vanessa led a range of global human rights projects involving global corporations, development banks, UN bodies, governments and civil society. Vanessa spearheaded a Cambodian corporate-community-government partnership focussed on improving labor conditions in Cambodian factories supplying US clothing retailer, Gap Inc. She also worked on Cambodian rule of law projects designed to improve the protection of Cambodian civil rights. In Australia, Vanessa worked with the Australian Human Rights Commission for 12 years, leading the Human Rights Program and its many national inquiries, the Business and Human Rights Program and the Commission’s strategic and cultural change process. Vanessa was a founding Director on Impact Investing Australia’s Board and is currently a Director on the Board of the National Association of Community Legal Centres. Vanessa has a BComm/LLB from the University of New South Wales and an LLM from New York University. She is also an alumni of the Sydney Leadership Program.
“How can we create more impact? There is no single, or ‘right’, answer to this question, but the more we ask it with genuine curiosity and an intent to act, the better off we will all be.”
Nicki is a highly experienced economist with broad-based expertise gained over three decades of practice in financial and investment markets and in economic consulting. Nicki has expertise in economic modelling, cost benefit analysis and business case preparation, Social Return on Investment, impact evaluations, policy development, and stakeholder engagement. Her research has covered areas from housing affordability to modern slavery, climate change to gender equity, and Indigenous affairs. Nicki works with government, private and third sector clients across Australia, to provide an evidence base for current and proposed projects, policies and programs, using triple bottom line and strategic analysis. Nicki has extensive experience gained from working both in and for the private sector and government, including as a partner with Deloitte Access Economics. Nicki’s work has a strong theme of social impact and she has been involved in the design and evaluation of social impact bonds and payments-for-outcomes programs. She has been at the forefront of developing an economic framework for quantifying social outcomes in a rigorous and robust framework that is acceptable to Treasury departments and investors alike. Her evaluation and impact work has covered programs such as the Community Development Program, the Growth Areas Infrastructure program (Victoria), NSW Ability Links, Newpin child restoration program, Last Days of Life palliative care initiative, a proposed AOD facility, and a NSW government energy efficiency initiative for low-income households. Nicki is a Council member of the Economics Society of Australia (NSW Branch) and the executive of the Australian Business Economists. Nicki is a board member for One Million Women and an advisory board member for the Finance Women’s Economic Index.
“The competition for impact funds has never been more fierce. Being able to articulate and model that impact is now mission critical for the sector”
Principal Impact Analyst
Jax has 25 years’ diverse experience working across the not-for-profit, government and corporate sectors. She has led significant business development for four major not-for-profit community organisations in the following service portfolios in Australia: child and family; domestic and family violence; housing and homelessness; out-of-home-care; youth justice; disability; and ageing. Jacqueline brings particular expertise in social research, payment by outcomes contract design, influential narrative writing, and impact reporting. She has demonstrated success in securing high value government and philanthropic funding and increasing return on investment. Her skills have been honed by experience in funding policy and public sector procurement during major reform with the Victorian Government, issues advocacy for an industry association; grassroots international development projects; and business management in small to medium enterprises including silk trading and film producing in Cambodia. The dominant theme through all her roles has been the analysis of the interconnected structures which create inequality and the mechanisms which can be employed to create sustainable positive change. Jax holds a Bachelor of Communication from Griffith University.
“Let’s look deeply at the evidence, rethink, and disrupt the status quo to address inequality and deliver greater social impact”
Jo is an experienced NED, Board Chair, Chief Executive, and social entrepreneur, committed to creating value and impact. As the Principal of Jo Cavanagh Consulting, Jo provides strategic advisory services to aspirational leaders and organisations seeking to be future focused and grow their impact for social and economic justice and change. Jo is also a Specialist Consultant with Social Outcomes, one of Australia’s leading impact organisations for researching, designing, costing, implementing, measuring and financing impact. Jo has extensive executive and board level experience and a track record for successful innovation, enterprise and impact with purpose driven organisations. An avid, eclectic reader and learner, Jo seeks out local and international opportunities for new knowledge and ideas to progress innovation and change at local, national and international levels. Her learning leads to insights and expertise for translating knowledge into action for outcomes. As a creative thinker for innovation and change, Jo has worked across sectors to improve the quality of care in Australia, grow awareness and engagement to address and prevent violence in all its forms, demonstrate effective community responses to mental health and wellbeing, and prevent the need for statutory intervention in families. She has held national advisory and leadership roles aligned to improving policy and practice for impact and outcomes. Strengths for Jo are in leadership, strategic thinking and analysis, innovation, business development, enterprise growth, impact measurement, strategy and good governance. Jo holds positions as an Adjunct Professor with Swinburne University in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Chair of the Good Things Foundation Australia, Chair of the Swinburne Advisory Council for the Centre for Social Impact, member of the Community Services Industry Alliance Reform Council and the Advisory Board for Regen Melbourne.
“How do we know what difference our work, services, contributions make to improving the lives of those we seek to help? Is anyone better off as a result of our work? Impact measurement is how decision makers, funders and practitioners can learn and improve together, powering up our shared journey towards a better future for all. If not now, then when?”