First Lady Announces Foundation Commitments to Invest in Innovative Community Solutions

First Lady Announces Foundation Commitments to Invest in Innovative Community Solutions
May 27, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington announced the initial phase of philanthropic commitments totaling $50 million to match Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grants and to invest in other innovative community solutions. This also includes an independent consortium of more than 20 national and regional funders led by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) who have come together to create the “Scaling What Works” initiative, which will provide complementary funding for key initiatives to build the infrastructure needed for the long-term success of the SIF.

“As we continue to tackle our nation's great challenges, we know that many of the best, most lasting solutions are already being developed in communities across the country. Local answers to our national challenges originate everywhere,” said Mrs. Obama. “Today's event shows how the government is doing business differently: finding solutions outside of Washington, DC; investing in innovations that can have a big impact and have the potential to grow; and partnering with the private, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to address the toughest problems we face. These efforts are just the beginning of how we seek to turn community solutions into national solutions.”

“Whether the issue is poverty or failing schools or childhood obesity, there's not a problem in America that's not being solved by someone, somewhere in America,” said Patrick Corvington, the Corporation's CEO. “Our challenge is to take what works and replicate it on a national scale to solve our greatest challenges – and that is what the SIF will do.”

The SIF is a new competitive grant program, housed at the Corporation for National and Community Service, that is designed to invest in innovative solutions with evidence of impact and that are ready to grow to meet the needs of more communities throughout America. The SIF will drive more resources to high-impact nonprofit organizations working in three areas of national priority: Economic Opportunity, Healthy Futures, and Youth Development and School Support.

The Council on Foundations also released a letter today signed by the heads of more than 130 community foundations around the country who endorsed the creation of the Social Innovation Fund and signaled their strong support for the Administration's initiatives to invest in innovative nonprofit programs and other solutions that are being developed in communities across America.

Click HERE for a fact sheet with more information.

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