Washington, DC – The Social Innovation Fund is moving more than $12 million in federal and private investments into some of the cities hardest hit by the economic downturn. Three grantees of the Fund recently awarded the first round of subgrants to support 61 community-based nonprofit organizations working to provide workforce training, job placement, financial literacy services, and other resources to help individuals achieve long-term financial security.
The subgrants come at a time when states are faced with double-digit budget shortfalls and thousands of low-income individuals and families are struggling to make ends meet. These funds are expected to help over 32,000 individuals and families find jobs, reduce their debt, gain financial literacy and build assets.
The 61 community-based nonprofit organizations were selected through open competitions by Social Innovation Fund grantees Jobs for the Future, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Mayor’s Fund for New York City, who also raised half of the funds awarded. These subgrantees will implement a diverse and innovative set of economic solutions – bundled financial services, match incentives to save, and collaboratives between workers, employers and other community-based institutions – to help low-income families.
“These organizations are uniquely positioned to target funds and resources to have a sustainable impact on the future of those families most in need,” said Patrick A. Corvington, the Corporation’s CEO. “The funds will help thousands of individuals find jobs, build new skills, and climb out of poverty.”
The Social Innovation Fund is designed to expand effective solutions to the toughest challenges affecting communities throughout the U.S., including economic opportunity. The subgrantees will work across a diverse group of communities including Baltimore MD, Tulsa OK, Seattle WA, Detroit MI, Houston TX, Minneapolis/St. Paul MN, Cincinnati OH, Chicago IL, Indianapolis IN, Boston MA, Milwaukee WI, San Diego CA, and Newark NJ.
Below are three examples of the Social Innovation Fund at work in communities:
- Newark Now – the organization will offer the “$aveUSA” account to about 1,125 tax filers at three sites. $aveUSA is a program that encourages financial stability among low-income tax filers by offering them a strong incentive to save a portion of their tax refund: a 50 percent match up to $500. Newark Now has over seven years of experience providing financial education and asset building programs to Newark area residents.
- Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative - the two-year award will allow the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative to increase their investments in workforce partnerships that focus on biotechnology, construction and healthcare in the Greater Baltimore Region. The partnerships emphasize the training and placement of low-income city residents, strong relationships with employers to determine industry needs, and bridge programs that offer training so applicants meet program entry requirements. Over two years, the Baltimore collaborative intends to serve 525 job seekers, placing 368 in jobs and, 297 incumbent workers, with 150 receiving wage increases.
- Communidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) – CLUES will deliver Financial Opportunity Center services – employment training and placement, financial literacy and public benefits support – to 400 individuals in South Minneapolis and East St. Paul, Minnesota, with a focus on financially-isolated Latino families and new immigrants. The organization currently provides employment and financial empowerment services, ESL, job training, parent support groups, youth leadership and free tax preparation services. The new funding opportunity will allow CLUES to better integrate the services they offer and provide income supports assistance and referrals to cover additional needs families may encounter.