Social Innovation Fund Awards Grants to Four New High-Impact Programs

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Social Innovation Fund
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By: 
Paul Carttar

I am thrilled to announce that the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) has selected four outstanding new grantees. These grantees will expand the impact of nonprofit programs with evidence of strong results by implementing exciting programs that will transform lives and communities.

The Social Innovation Fund has announced new grants that will support new programs including some that close the opportunity and achievement gap for youth.

New grantees will each receive awards of $2 million over two years and are eligible for continued funding for up to five years. These four grantees, like the 16 organizations selected in the previous two competitions, are experienced grantmakers with strong track records of success that have proposed compelling, innovative programs to tackle some of our country's biggest challenges in our most needy areas.

In addition, I am also pleased to announce that continuation awards totaling $33.9 million have been made to seven of our existing grantees that have all been delivering consistent and compelling results in their geographic and issue areas.

Because the SIF requires that the federal funds granted be matched dollar-for-dollar by the grantmakers and again by the nonprofit organizations they select for grants, these federal grants will leverage more than $100 million in private funds. Together, that means that through these new and continuing grants, a total of almost $150 million will support the growth of innovative nonprofits serving people and communities in need.

New Grantees

The four new grantees were selected from a pool of 31 applicants. They are:

  • Green Light Fund works with the local communities to proactively attract and support relevant national programs to close the achievement and opportunity gap for youth. In Boston, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay area, the fund will impact the lives of 20,000 low-income children by improving school persistence and academic achievement, increasing high school graduation and GED attainment, and increasing college access, credit accumulation and degree completion.
  • Twin Cities Strive in partnership with Greater Twin Cities United Way will support a strong portfolio of replicable, evidence-based youth programs serving kids from kindergarten through college in Minnesota's Twin Cities region. They will support programs designed to improve kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading proficiency, ninth-grade readiness for upper-level math, four-year graduation rates, and college enrollment rates for between 1,500 to 2,000 low-income youth each year.
  • The John A. Hartford Foundation has 80 years of experience supporting nonprofit organizations across the country. With its Social Innovation Fund grant, the foundation will expand an evidence-based program for treating depression in rural communities in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Effective treatment using its IMPACT model improves depression symptoms, social and work-related functioning, and even economic outcomes.
  • Capital Area United Way (CAUW) will build community impact initiatives leading to success in early childhood in the Greater Baton Rouge area. CAUW will strive to improve children's school readiness by ensuring positive birth outcomes, strong parental engagement, support, and education (including financial education), and access to quality child care and preschools. They will also work to ensure that children's physical health, safety, and social-emotional needs are met.

Continuing Grantees

Seven high-performing grantees in the SIF network are receiving a total of $33.9 million in grants to continue their work to expand the impact of powerful nonprofits. They include:

Looking Ahead

The full network of 20 grantmaking intermediaries in the SIF portfolio represent the momentum across the country for implementing community-driven approaches to problem-solving that have evidence of strong results. As our new grantees engage a whole new group of nonprofits in the Social Innovation Fund and our continuing grantees continue pushing the envelope with the nonprofits they are working with, we look forward to seeing hundreds of thousands more lives transformed.

Paul Carttar is the Director of the Social Innovation Fund at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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