National Service Agency Announces Results of 2011 Social Innovation Fund Grant Competition

National Service Agency Announces Results of 2011 Social Innovation Fund Grant Competition
Aug 4, 2011

Highlights Stories of Success from 2010 Grant Competition

Washington, DC – The Corporation for National and Community Service today announced that five new intermediaries will be receiving grants from the Social Innovation Fund. Like the eleven organizations selected last year, these five outstanding organizations represent experienced grantmakers with strong track records of success who have proposed compelling, innovative programs to tackle some of our country's biggest challenges in our most needy areas.

The five awards total $13.9 million and will fund the initial two years of each grant, which address challenges in the critical areas of affordable housing, homelessness, obesity, early education and literacy. Because the Social Innovation Fund requires that each federal dollar granted be matched dollar for dollar by the intermediaries and again by the organizations they select for grants, these federal grants will leverage $35.4 million in private funds. Together, that means a total of $49.3 million will support the growth of innovative nonprofits serving people and communities in need.

“The Social Innovation Fund demonstrates that the federal government – working with nonprofit organizations, private philanthropies, and others – can create innovative solutions for community's toughest problems,” said Robert Velasco, II, Acting CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service. “Together with the grantees from last year's inaugural class, these five new grantees will both drive impact in the communities they serve and benefit the nonprofit sector as a whole.”

Whether it is leveraging community volunteers to collectively improve 3rd grade literacy rates by 25% in up to 15 rural and urban areas across Colorado or serving an estimated 12,000 low-income youths with high risk for obesity per year in major cities throughout the U.S., the new grantees will have a lasting impact on the people in their communities.

Below is the list of the five new Social Innovation Fund grantees and a short description of the work the grants will fund. Click here to read more information about the FY 2011 grant competition, the portfolio, and the grantees' track records of success. The five new grantees include:

  • Corporation for Supportive Housing ($2.3 million over 2 years) will expand and replicate supportive housing models in four cities that combine health, housing, and social services to improve the health and housing outcomes for an estimated 400 homeless individuals per year with complex health needs who frequently use multiple public crisis systems. Focus area: healthy futures.

  • Mile High United Way ($3.6 million over 2 years) will fund subgrantee programs that leverage community volunteers to collectively improve 3rd grade literacy rates by 25% in up to 15 rural and urban areas across Colorado, serving an estimated 2,000 students per year. Building upon a strong state movement for reform and with strong bipartisan support from Colorado's Governor, Lieutenant Governor and state legislature, Mile High United Way is poised to introduce key transformations in Colorado's education system. Focus area: youth development.

  • NCB Capital Impact ($2 million over 2 years) will scale and replicate “long-term affordable homeownership” programs to build the capacity of local organizations in up to 10 cities to more effectively manage public investment in affordable homeownership for an estimated 300 low-income families per year. Focus area: economic opportunity.

  • U.S. Soccer Foundation ($2 million over 2 years) will support the expansion and replication in 12 cities of Soccer for Success, a no-cost, after-school, sports-based youth development program whose goal is to improve health by arresting and reducing obesity through physical activity and nutrition education. This program will serve an estimated 12,000 low-income youths with high risk for obesity per year. Focus area: healthy futures.

  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan ($4 million over 2 years) will build a portfolio of replicable early childhood learning communities in 10 needy communities in greater Detroit and surrounding areas to dramatically raise demonstrated skills and proficiencies for an estimated 6,000 children entering kindergarten per year. Focus area: youth development.

In addition to the five new grantees, the Social Innovation Fund 2011 grant competition has provided continuation funding to nine of its eleven current grantees that will enable them to continue to build their multi-year programs in accordance with the original terms of these investments. In each case, these intermediaries have demonstrated that they have met or exceeded expectations in terms of progress to date. Details about these awards can be found here.

During the past year, these intermediaries have made significant progress in implementing key elements of the Social Innovation Fund program, including developing rigorous evaluation plans and creating a sound platform for the learning community. Their most important achievement, however, is the selection – through their own rigorous, open and competitive processes – of nearly 140 “subgrantees,” that is community-based, service-providing nonprofit organizations that the intermediaries will fund and grow to actually impact the lives of people in low-income communities.

While these innovative subgrantees are new to the Social Innovation Fund portfolio, they all have well-earned track records of success that led to their selection and provide strong indications of how they will contribute to achieving the goals of the intermediary who selected them as well as to fulfilling the potential of the Social Innovation Fund. For example:

Healthy Futures: Home for the Innocents, a sub-grantee of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, established a dental clinic staffed by students from the University of Louisville's Dental School. The partnership is a win-win. Students receive training and hands-on experience in the community; at the same time more than 3,500 of Louisville's most vulnerable children are receiving preventive dental care – many for the first time.

Youth Development: Lawrence Caldwell quit school, ran away from an abusive home and was well on his way to becoming another faceless statistic of America's drop out crisis, until he enrolled in the Gateway to College program at Montgomery College in Maryland. He excelled academically and is now an undergraduate majoring in psychology at George Washington University. Stories like Lawrences' are the reasons why the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation awarded the Gateway to its subgrantee, the College National Network. Active in 16 states, the program provides an alternative education program on college campuses that is helping thousands of at-risk youth like Lawrence earn high school diplomas and college credits.

Economic Opportunity: In 2004, José, a 26-year-old Bronx high school graduate who was completing a five year prison sentence, was eager to build a new life – he just needed a chance. Per Scholas, a sub-grantee of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City gave him that chance when he enrolled in the program's computer training program while he was a participant in a community release program that connects inmates to paid work in the community. Seven years later, José is a Lead IT Support analyst earning $78,000 a year. The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City was awarded SIF funding to refine and replicate programs like Per Scholas, Work Advance and SaveUSA that are designed to break the cycle of poverty and build economic self-sufficiency in 8 cities across the country.

View more Social Innovation Fund stories.

About the Social Innovation Fund:

The Social Innovation Fund is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service that improves the lives of people in low-income U.S. communities. Through an innovative public-private partnership, the Social Innovation Fund and selected local and national grantmakers co-invest in programs that increase the scale of community-based solutions that have evidence of real impact in the areas of youth development, economic opportunity or healthy futures. Every Federal dollar invested is matched with private funds, and all programs are rigorously evaluated. As a result, the most effective approaches can be expanded to reach more people in need and key lessons can be captured and broadly shared.

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