National Service Blog

  • Posted on May 20, 2015

    As one of the first wave of federal Pay for Success (PFS) grantees, Third Sector Capital Partners prides itself on going the extra mile to support programs that help at-risk youth and young adults secure a living wage and the employment skills to gain self-sufficiency.

    With a $1.9 million grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) in 2014, the Boston-based advisory firm is strengthening the ability of local governments and service providers to implement PFS, a new way of focusing on outcomes. Under a PFS-financed project, the government leverages philanthropic and private dollars so that government pays only after service providers generate tangible results.

    Through its federal award Third Sector is offering technical assistance to seven subrecipients across workforce development, education and social services, working with these agencies to develop their own capacity to implement PFS.

    But in addition to technical assistance, Third Sector is taking innovative steps to promote success of these efforts. Unique among the 2014 SIF PFS grantees, Third Sector is requiring subrecipients to provide matching funds so that these agencies also have a stake in developing effective pay-for-performance models.

    “It’s important for these agencies to have skin in the game,” said Tim Pennell, Third Sector associate director. The cash match may be small – a minimum of $25,000 – but it provides ample evidence of the organization’s commitment to the PFS concept.

    “It means they are putting...

  • Posted on Jun 6, 2014
    This special SSIR supplement, sponsored by GEO, captures the latest thinking about how nonprofit organizations, grantmakers, public funders, and social entrepreneurs can increase the impact of successful solutions to urgent social challenges. Includes interviews with Michael Smith of the Social Innovation Fund and Carla Javits of REDF (a SIF intermediary) on using public-private partnerships to achieve scale.
  • Posted on Jun 6, 2014
    New York Nonprofit Press (NY) -The organization places hundreds of job seekers each year, including homeless and formerly incarcerated job seekers and offers employment preparation, training, job placement, retention and advancement support. Madison Strategies is funded by a prestigious federal Social Innovation Fund grant and support from the Robin Hood Foundation, the Tulsa Community Foundation, and others.
  • Posted on Jun 6, 2014
    The Obama administration is now in the fifth year of a program, known as the Social Innovation Fund, to use the private sector to identify successful local organizations that attack social problems such as teen pregnancy, delinquency, school dropout, and low school achievement, and, combining federal resources with local and foundation matching funds, to expand these successful local programs.
    Tags: SIFund
  • Posted on Jun 6, 2014
    Last night’s “60 Minutes” profiled Year Up--a subgrantee of the Social Innovation Fund. The report includes inspiring examples of how Year Up prepares youth for the workforce.
    Tags: SIFund
  • Posted on Jun 6, 2014
    Our plan attracted a major federal grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service [and the] Social Innovation Fund and forward-looking investment from our partners. Together, we were able to work on both the population and program levels to leverage the success of pioneers to create a platform for accountability and social innovation.
    Tags: SIF
  • Posted on May 30, 2014
    By CNCS Staff | National Service News Week in Review | From generation to generation, service is a common theme that makes a difference in the lives of Americans. Whether it’s a science fair winner thinking of unique solutions to old challenges, adults stepping up to volunteer as mentors, or seniors whose lives are testaments to the benefits of service, our national service family leads by example.
  • Posted on Mar 28, 2014
    By Samantha Vernon

     

    I am an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving in Montana with the Global Health Equity Foundation on their social media based project titled "Let's Talk." This project allows me to work toward enabling Healthy Futures in a different way. In fact, I'm the only member working on a mental health project in the state.
  • Posted on Mar 28, 2014
    By Emily Kelley

     

    Brighter Bites is a new program meant to create behavioral changes through education and access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Its founder Lisa Helfman, a mom of two young boys, found that having more fresh produce at home led her kids to make healthier choices. She has built a team to apply that same principle to Houston’s underserved populations.
  • Posted on Mar 28, 2014
    By Wendy Spencer and Jonathan Greenblatt

     

    The idea of combining service and leadership is one that defined the life of Cesar Chavez. He dedicated his life to bringing attention to the poverty of migrant farmworkers and other segments of the population that were marginalized or overlooked. Chavez also showed us that, no matter how humble our beginnings, we can all accomplish great things.
  • Posted on Mar 25, 2014
    By Tom Vilsack

     

    As Secretary of Agriculture, I take USDA’s nickname of the “People’s Department”—first coined by President Abraham Lincoln—to heart. Over the past five years, we have worked hard to build upon our tradition of service to the American people, supporting both the farmers and ranchers who grow our food and giving American families confidence that the food they buy at the grocery store is safe, healthy and affordable.
    Tags: FoodCorps

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  • RT @VolunteerFla: Awesome @jaxdotcom shout-out for Carolyn Lynn, VF Champion of Service Award recipient, and @americorps! @CISJAX http://t… 3 hours 42 min ago
  • RT @SIFund: The #SIFund empowers grantmakers to grow community solutions that work. Learn more about the projects we're funding: http://t.c… 3 hours 58 min ago
  • On #JFK's birthday, we honor his vision realized thru @VISTAbuzz & proudly sustain the legacy of national service. http://t.co/JFbStrABWK 4 hours 52 min ago
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