Social Innovation Fund

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides grants to national and local nonprofits, schools, government agencies, faith-based and other community organizations and other groups committed to strengthening their communities through volunteering.

Grants are either made directly to an organization or through an intermediary group that handles the distribution of grant funding. Eligibility requirements and funding opportunities vary by program. 

“Instead of wasting taxpayer money on programs that are obsolete or ineffective, government should be seeking out creative, results-oriented programs … and helping them replicate their efforts across America.” – President Obama (June 30, 2009).

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) makes grant awards of between $1 million and $10 million per year for up to five years to grantmaking intermediaries, selected through a rigorous, open competition. Intermediaries match their federal grants dollar-for-dollar and host open, evidence-based competitions to select nonprofits implementing innovative program models. Selected nonprofits receive awards of at least $100,000 per year for up to five years and must also secure dollar-for-dollar matching funds.

Social Innovation Fund grantees are actively investing in high-impact solutions across the country. Twenty intermediary grantmaking organizations have been awarded funding – 11 in 2010, five more in 2011, and four in 2012 – to implement programs in three priority areas: economic opportunity, youth development, and healthy futures. Intermediaries were selected to receive funding for three to five years through competitive processes conducted with unparalleled openness and transparency.

Social Innovation Fund General Fact Sheet

The Social Innovation Fund, a key White House initiative and program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, transforms lives and communities by using limited federal investment as a catalyst to grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of strong results. Throughout the U.S., effective solutions to many of our major problems have been developed and are already achieving strong results. The Social Innovation Fund was founded on the fundamental idea that we can make enormous progress toward overcoming significant challenges by finding and growing the most promising of these solutions.

Corporation for National and Community Service Fact Sheet

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. As the nation's largest grant maker in support of service and volunteering, CNCS engages more than five million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to their communities each year through the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC, and Learn and Serve America programs…

Our Programs

Each year, more than 5 million individuals of all ages and backgrounds help meet local needs through a wide array of service opportunities through the Corporation for National and Community Service's core programs: AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Social Innovation Fund. These programs and others, such as the Volunteer Generation Fund, support projects in six priority areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families.

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