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We are the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that helps millions of Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through service. Working hand in hand with local partners, we tap the ingenuity and can-do spirit of the American people to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing our nation.

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By Lois Nembhard, Acting Director, Social Innovation Fund


As someone who has had the privilege of working in the Social Innovation Fund, almost since the initiative was announced by First Lady Michelle Obama, its status as a six-year-old program has helped nearly 700,000 people. I am especially proud of two moments this past week.

On Monday, the White House hosted the My Brother’s Keeper “What Works Showcase.” This showcase included a science-fair meets demo-day style event with more than 30 of the nation’s premiere organizations that are applying rigorous evidence of impact across MBK’s cradle-to-college-and-career-goals.

Of those 30+ organizations, 19 are part of the Social Innovation Fund’s network of grantees and sub-grantees.

What unites all of our grantees is a focus on finding what works and making it work for more people. That means mentoring efforts that keep kids engaged and on track to finish school, or other initiatives that help people, including homeless veterans, find new jobs.

In fact, President Obama echoed this What Works philosophy last week in a speech about employing technology to help us address challenges, “We’ve applied data and evidence to social policy, to find out what works, to scale up when it works - and stop funding things that don’t, thereby fostering a new era of social innovation.“

The inspiration for the week did not end with seeing the Social Innovation Fund grantees in action at the MBK “What Works Showcase” or reflecting on the President elevating the work we do to a national audience.

By Lois Nembhard, Acting Director, Social Innovation Fund

As someone who has had the privilege of working in the Social Innovation Fund, almost since the initiative was announced by First...

By: Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps


They came from every borough in New York City and beyond to dedicate themselves to serving for one year making a positive change in communities throughout New York City. 

What they will bring will vary as many recently completed college and are eager for that first opportunity to experience real world issues and put into place all that learning.  Others have learned much from their varied life experiences and taken the best of those forward to share with others.  Some have just graduated from high school and are eager to see what they can offer and learn before deciding what career to pursue. All come with commitment in their hearts, eager to stand for something.

You see their faces below, representing what America has to offer and what makes America a great nation.  For it’s the “doers” who place into action their energy and enthusiasm and wade into the fray of American life willing to help improve the lives of others.  They aren’t motivated by what they get but rather what they give to others.  Over 400 stood together pledging their willingness to not only “get things done” “but to carry the commitment this year and beyond”.  Wherever they serve in New York, they will be our Ambassadors of Hope-standing for the best values of America when perhaps some have lost faith in themselves and are looking for examples of  someone steeped in selfless service to others.  

You can also serve this year, the year of One Million AmeriCorps members. 

Your face can become part of these faces. It’s your chance to stand for someone other than yourself. It’s your chance to be courageous enough to say with the support of others that we truly can make a difference. Our country has provided us this opportunity to serve.  Let’s go forward as others have done and be about building the more perfect union.

By: David Wilkinson, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, and Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service

“We’ve applied data and evidence to social policy, to find out what works, to scale up when it works …thereby fostering a new era of social innovation." - President Obama 10/13/16

As President Obama convened some of the nation’s leading academics and business leaders for the Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh, it is the perfect moment to put the spotlight on an initiative, highlighted at today’s Conference, that is elevating the use of evidence and data to tackle our country’s biggest challenges.

In 2009, President Obama authorized the creation of the Social Innovation Fund at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to find solutions that work, and make them work for more people – by proving, improving and growing effective models.

As of March 2016, the Social Innovation Fund and philanthropic matching funders have invested over $900 million in effective community solutions since the program’s inception. As a result of $295 million in federal grants and more than $628 million in non-federal match commitments, the SIF has made a total of 43 awards to high-performing organizations supporting 458 non-profits working in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Altogether, these efforts have impacted the lives of nearly 700,000 people.

On top of these achievements, the Social Innovation Fund also has helped expand the government’s investment in another data-driven direction.

From Our CEO | Wendy Spencer

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By John J Lira, Veterans and Military Families Program Officer The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Veterans...

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