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Social Innovation Fund General Fact Sheet

The Social Innovation Fund, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, transforms lives and communities by using limited federal investment as a catalyst to grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of strong results. Throughout the U.S., effective solutions to many of our major problems have been developed and are already achieving strong results. The Social Innovation Fund was founded on the fundamental idea that we can make enormous progress toward overcoming significant challenges by finding and growing the most promising of these solutions.

By fostering private and public collaborations, the Social Innovation Fund harnesses the expertise of experienced grantmaking intermediaries to identify, evaluate and expand effective nonprofits. Private and other nonfederal funding partners also contribute significantly to the success of the program through matching funds, which help to build a sustainable financial base for the long-term impact of nonprofits.
As the Social Innovation Fund and its network of intermediaries grow effective nonprofit programs, more individuals and communities in need gain access to the solutions that enable them to overcome their most pressing challenges in the areas of economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development.

The Social Innovation Fund awarded $177 Million in it's first four competitions. The funding has yielded $423 Million to private and non-federal commitments.

How Does It Work?

The SIF makes grant awards of between $1 million and $10 million per year for up to five years to grantmaking intermediaries, selected through a rigorous, open competition. Intermediaries match their federal grants dollar-for-dollar and with those combined funds they then:
  • host open, evidence-based competitions to select nonprofits implementing innovative program models;
  • invest in expanding the capabilities and impact of the nonprofits they select; and
  • support those nonprofits through rigorous evaluation of their programs.
Selected nonprofits receive awards of at least $100,000 per year for up to five years and must also secure dollarfor-dollar matching funds, increasing their potential for impact and demonstrating support for their work. Nonprofits use the resources to expand programs that get real, transformative results to reach more people, and participate in rigorous evaluations to build understanding of what works to solve serious community challenges.
Social Innovation Fund by the Numbers

The Social Innovation Fund has awarded $295 million in grants to intermediaries since 2010.

  • This funding yielded over $582 million in private and other nonfederal commitments.
  • The Social Innovation Fund portfolio includes 39 grantmaking intermediaries
  • Intermediaries have so far selected 353 innovative nonprofits working in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Grantees are conducting 89 interventions and assessing results through highly rigorous evaluation models, including randomized trials and quasi-experimental designs.

Examples of Social Innovation Fund Programs


Nonprofit/IntermediaryAnnual Award*Nonprofit Program Description
Center for Employment Opportunities REDF$251,065The Center for Employment Opportunities assists recently-released offenders eager to build productive lives in securing immediate transitional jobs, and provides skills training, coaching and job placement support—a combination proven to reduce the chances
of their returning to prison. With their subgrant they are replicating their New York-based program in Oakland, California.
AIDS CT Corporation for Supportive Housing$400,000In Hartford, Connecticut, AIDS CT is transitioning more chronically homeless, frequent users of emergency care into permanent housing and ensuring they receive vital health services that improve their quality of life and save the state thousands of dollars per person each year.
The Children's Institute, Inc. The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation$2 MillionThe Children’s Institute in Los Angeles helps very troubled youth, typically involved in the foster care or juvenile justice system, improve their life prospects and avoid violence. Their programs reduce gang involvement, raise academic performance, and improve school attendance.


*Nonprofit grant awards are comprised of both federal and match funding. Awards are also matched 1:1 by the nonprofits receiving funding.


March 2016
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Samantha Jo Warfield
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