National Service Blog

  • Posted on Feb 9, 2015

    Most low-income families face a litany of financial and employment challenges, which is why Social Innovation Fund (SIF) intermediary the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is expanding its comprehensive Financial Opportunity Centers and using data to inform these expansion efforts.

    These 75 centers nationwide represent both a workforce-development and asset-building programming model with services such as job readiness, employment training, financial coaching and help in accessing public benefits.

    Through these services, participants can boost monthly net income and obtain critical supports such as health insurance and utility assistance that improve family well-being.

    “Low-income, low-wage jobs are not enough to sustain a family,” said Seung Kim, LISC program director for family income and wealth building. “Our strategy is to empower individuals and families through an intentional, integrated services approach.”

    These integrated services, or “bundled services,” aim to provide individuals with employment counseling, financial coaching, and access to income supports to help boost steady income, reduce expenses, and build credit and wealth. It is a value-added approach that includes a major emphasis on data and evaluation. For example, one key research question is whether participants receiving multiple services show stronger outcomes than those participating in only one or two activities.

    “The data really drive how we understand the program,” Kim said.

    For example, job placement rates are higher for those with greater involvement. Individuals with only basic employment services have a 26 percent...

  • Posted on Feb 9, 2015
    The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a credible and consequential model for meeting unmet human needs in American communities. So says a new book providing a comprehensive history of the Obama Administration’s efforts to promote evidence-based social policy.
  • Posted on Feb 8, 2015
    When it comes to documenting the impact of services on some of the most disadvantaged Americans, REDF is sitting firmly at the cutting edge of innovation.The California-based nonprofit is a leader in identifying the “social return on investment” (SROI), an approach to assess the effect of services not only on an individual but also on society at large.
  • Posted on Nov 7, 2014
    I have several projects in response to the President's call to service. First of all I have, for 13 years, served on Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard teams where I conduct funeral services for our heroes. I do the reading to honor the passing veterans. I have done hundreds and hundreds of funerals, if not thousands at a National Cemetery and private cemeteries in two states.
  • 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.

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