National Service Agency Requests Applications for Social Innovation Fund Competition

National Service Agency Requests Applications for Social Innovation Fund Competition
Feb 28, 2011

Washington, DC—The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) today released a Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the 2011 grant competition of the Social Innovation Fund. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 12, 2011.

"In its first year, the Social Innovation Fund has laid a sound foundation for improving the lives of thousands of people in low-income communities throughout the U.S.," said Patrick Corvington, CEO of CNCS.  "The second grant selection competition represents a critical next step toward demonstrating that the federal government – working in partnership with nonprofit organizations, private philanthropies, municipal governments and other key agents of change – can be an innovative and effective catalyst for tackling some of our most persistent social challenges."

The Social Innovation Fund represents a new way of doing business for the federal government. 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 three priority areas: youth development, economic opportunity or healthy futures.  When the first round of grantmaking is completed in March, the Social Innovation Fund’s eleven 2010 grantees will have awarded nearly $100 million to approximately 150 innovative community-based non-profits organizations.

The release of this NOFO follows a one-month public comment period. The suggestions gathered during this process resulted in numerous revisions that clarified the proposed transparency process, budget instructions, and evidence requirements.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the Corporation plans to award up to approximately $28 million in grants to up to ten intermediary grantmaking institutions.  Each award will range from $1 - $7 million and will be matched dollar for dollar by the intermediary.  Subsequent awards by the intermediaries to their selected subgrantees will also be matched 1:1, yielding up to $3 in private funding for every $1 in federal funding committed to this program. 

Successful intermediary applicants will have the following characteristics:

  • A strong track record of using rigorous evidence to select, invest in, support, and monitor the replication and expansion of their subgrantees;
  • The capacity to conduct an open, competitive process for selecting innovative nonprofit community organizations with effective and potentially transformative approaches;
  • Expertise in one or more priority issue areas; and
  • Deep and broad relationships with stakeholders in one or more priority issue areas and and/or specific geographic regions.

Please consult the CNCS website to read or download a copy of the NOFO, which provides complete information about this grant competition, including instructions for how to apply.  The website also contains information on other resources CNCS will make available to potential applicants, including technical assistance calls, a webinar and access to proposals and application executive summaries from the 2010 competition. 

Please note that the initial technical assistance call will be held on March 2, 2011, at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.  The call can be accessed at 888-989-7535 (Passcode: 2414449.)

Applicants must apply using the Corporation’s eGrants system.  The eGrants Web site is:

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America and the Social Innovation Fund, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

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