National Service Blog

  • Posted on Aug 20, 2015

    How well or poorly a child reads in the third grade is a good predictor of his or her future success. Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is helping catalyze action and investment in pre-K-3 education to better prepare San Mateo County third-graders for reading and continued achievement.

    The eight-year-old, Mountain View, CA-based SVCF is the largest community foundation in the United States, with more than $6 billion in assets under management. It serves San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, focusing on solving the most challenging problems, improving quality of life, and inspiring greater civic participation.

    Although it’s home to the prosperous high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, the region faces stark income inequality and the socioeconomic challenges that result from it. Forty-three percent of San Mateo County’s third-grade students are not reading at grade level, rising to over 60 percent for Latino, African-American, and Pacific Islander third-graders.

    Recognizing the importance of reading proficiency to closing the achievement gap, in 2012 SVCF helped convene a group of county leaders and community-...

  • Posted on Mar 23, 2015
    The Science of CuteIf you can find a more adorable way to show the potential 3D printing technology than this puppy’s new paws, we’d like to see it. Learn more at the White House Science Fair … and happy National Puppy Day!
  • Posted on Mar 3, 2015
    Individuals experiencing long-term homelessness also often suffer from medical fragility caused or aggravated by life on the streets and in shelters. Lacking stable access to housing and preventative health care services, they become “high-utilizers” of costly inpatient and emergency care.
  • Posted on Mar 3, 2015
    More than 40 grantee representatives, federal officials, and non-profit and social sector leaders participated in the three-day workshop, which featured rich conversations about lessons learned from early implementation of PFS projects, funded with $12 million from the SIF last fall.
  • Posted on Mar 3, 2015
    Nearly a million New Yorkers earn less than $20,000 per year because they lack the skills needed to secure a living-wage job. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force seeks to better understand and combat this “skills gap.”
  • 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.
  • 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.

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