Social Innovation Fund General Fact Sheet
The Social Innovation Fund, an initiative 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, health, and youth development.
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. Promising 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 awarded $137 million in its first three competitions.
- This funding yielded $350 million in private and other nonfederal commitments.
- The Social Innovation Fund selected 20 grantmaking intermediaries in 2010-2012.
- Intermediaries have so far selected 197 promising nonprofits working in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
- Selected nonprofits have already reached over 130,000 additional individuals, and are set to impact tens of thousands more this year.
Examples of Social Innovation Fund Programs
|Nonprofit/Intermediary||Annual Award*||Nonprofit Program Description|
|Center for Employment Opportunities REDF||$251,065||The 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.
|Integrated Healthcare and Housing Neighborhoods program Corporation for Supportive Housing||$400,000||In Hartford, Connecticut, the Integrated Healthcare and Housing Neighborhoods program 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 Million||The 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.