Federal Agency Awards Nearly $40 Million to Strengthen & Expand Innovative Community Solutions

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Sep 25, 2013

Social Innovation Fund and private-sector partners have invested more than a half billion dollars to tap groundbreaking, results-oriented social interventions

WASHINGTON, DC – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) today announced $39.9 million in continuation funding for 10 current Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantees, strengthening the agency’s investment in local nonprofits that are best positioned to transform lives and communities. These funds allow recipients to meet and exceed program goals, expand reach, and execute rigorous evaluation models.

SIF, a key White House initiative, aims to transform lives and communities by mobilizing federal and non-federal investment to support and scale innovative, evidence-based, community solutions. The initiative represents a new way of doing business for the federal government, combining rigorous evaluation to test program effectiveness with public-private partnerships that triples the federal investment and accelerates scale. The SIF will also capture and share best practices and lift-up models with potential for replication.

“The Social Innovation Fund is a game-changer,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “At a time when public, private, and nonprofit organizations are struggling to meet the nation’s most pressing challenges, SIF allows us to ensure we are smartly leveraging public investments to catalyze non-federal support and expand programs with a track record of success.”

Since President Obama first launched the program three years ago, SIF and its private-sector partners have committed to investing more than half a billion dollars in compelling community solutions. Including these grants, the SIF portfolio represents a $177.6 million federal investment in nonprofits in 37 states and D.C. through 20 intermediary grantees funding 221 sub-grantees. This modest federal investment is expected to leverage more than $423 million in non-federal match commitments. Already, these efforts are on track to meet long-term goals for scaling and evaluating groundbreaking solutions, with 20 intermediary grantees funding over 221 nonprofit organizations that have reached more than 200,000 individuals in 37 states and the District of Columbia to-date. Grant recipients are addressing three priority areas of need: economic opportunity, youth development and healthy futures.

“The Social Innovation Fund is serious about scaling and testing evidence-based innovations, and lifting up successful models and lessons learned,” said Michael Smith, director of the SIF. “Along with our grantees we’re looking forward to openly sharing our successes and challenges, in hopes to inform and enrich our network and the broader social sector. Through our unique approach, partnerships with grantmakers and diverse funding portfolio, we are excited to help accelerate the pace and efficacy of transformative solutions nationwide.”

Through SIF’s public-private partnership, the 221 nonprofit organizations being funded by the 20 intermediaries, are conducting 86 interventions and assessing results through highly rigorous evaluation models, which are developed in partnership with, and approved by, the SIF research and evaluation team. Grantees are working at the local level with intermediary partners to conduct evaluations using a wide range of high-quality designs, including randomized trials and quasi-experimental designs.

The following SIF grantees received continuation funding:

  • AIDS United, $2,156,486
    AIDS United supports programs that focus on connecting low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS to health care. Using SIF funds, AIDS United aims to grow these programs and serve 3,500 beneficiaries. Through a rigorous evaluation process, the program will capture lessons that will reduce barriers to care, not just for HIV/AIDS but for a broad range of chronic disease sufferers.
  • Corporation for Supportive Housing, $1,150,000
    Through SIF funds, the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) is supporting and evaluating an integrated approach to addressing chronic homelessness for individuals with complex health needs. CSH subgrantees will work with public agencies to identify frequent users of public health systems and provide supportive housing tied to client-centered, integrated primary and behavioral health services.
  • Jobs for the Future/National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS), $3,000,000
    Through 21 workforce collaboratives across the nation, Jobs For the Future is scaling and evaluating the NFWS collaborative model for training job seekers and incumbent workers for job placement and career advancement.
  • Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), $11,400,000
    This program is replicating and evaluating five anti-poverty programs, originally piloted by CEO, in eight urban areas. By advancing the education, employment and financial savings of low-income adults and families, the programs will combat poverty across a diverse cross-section of America.
  • Mile High United Way, $3,629,412
    Mile High United Way (MHUW) works with 10 programs seeking to improve literacy rates in children in rural and urban communities across the state of Colorado, and evaluate results.
  • NCB Capital Impact, $2,000,000
    NCB Capital Impact is investing in 10 community-based non-profits across the nation to replicate and evaluate shared equity homeownership programs that increase economic opportunities through affordable homeownership. 
  • New Profit Inc., $10,000,000
    Through their SIF-invested Pathways Fund, New Profit Inc. supports six subgrantees to scale and evaluate their programs nationwide. Pathways Fund’s goal is to increase high school graduation and GED attainment, increase college enrollment and college credit accumulation rates, and achieve living wage employment.
  • U.S. Soccer Federation Foundation, $2,600,000
    U.S. Soccer Foundation will expand and evaluate the impact of 13 subgrantees that receive support through SIF funds to evaluate the impact of Soccer or Success, a no-cost, after-school, sports-based youth development program. Its goal is to combat youth obesity through physical activity and nutrition education. Subgrantees are located in urban areas and participate in sophisticated data collection documenting efforts on participants’ body mass index and physical fitness.
  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan, $2,000,000
    United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) is addressing Detroit’s long-term systemic social and economic problems by investing in children at an early age, with the goal to ensure that at least 80% of the children in the area start kindergarten ready to learn with the social, emotional, and cognitive foundations for success. Through SIF, UWSEM will evaluate, expand and replicate this model.
  • Venture Philanthropy Partners, $1,991,878
    Through the youthCONNECT SIF program, Venture Philanthropy Partners supports an integrated approach to addressing the education and employment needs of low-income and vulnerable youth ages 14-24 and evaluating improvements in outcomes for the estimated 20,000 youth that are intended to be served.

Selection of SIF grantees is highly competitive. Selected grantees demonstrate a history of success in implementing programs with evidence of results. The 10 continuation grants are being awarded to SIF grantees that were eligible for funding during this grant cycle (based on their initial year of funding) and also have a strong organizational capacity and a high performance level to-date. Most SIF grantees have designed five year programs to expand and test results.

Under the Social Innovation Fund's unique public-private partnership model, each federal dollar granted is matched 1-to-1 by the grantees and again by their subgrantees with money from private and other non-federal sources, thereby increasing the return on taxpayer dollars and strengthening local support. The grants announced today will leverage an estimated $90 million in additional non-federal funds, resulting in a total of an estimated $130 million to support the growth of innovative nonprofits that are using evaluation to learn what works and how programs can be improved.

Media Contact

Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 606-6775
sjwarfield@cns.gov

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