Social Innovation Fund: 2012 Competition

Four New Grantees Selected in 2012

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) announced the selection of four outstanding new grantees on July 31, 2012. New grantees each received awards of $2 million over two years, and are eligible for continued funding for a total of up to five years.

These four grantees, like the 16 organizations selected in previous competitions, are experienced grantmakers with strong track records of success that proposed compelling, innovative programs to tackle some of our country's biggest challenges in areas of high need.

Continuation awards totaling $33.9 million were also made to seven existing grantees, which have all delivered consistent and compelling results in their geographic and issue areas. Those grantees include: AIDS United, Jobs for the Future, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Missouri Foundation for Health, New Profit, Inc., and The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

Because the SIF requires that each federal dollar granted be matched dollar for dollar by the grantmakers and again by the nonprofit organizations they select for grants, these federal grants will leverage over $100 million in private funds. Together, that means that through these new and continuing grantees, a total of almost $150 million will support the growth of innovative nonprofits serving people and communities in need.

About the 2012 Grant Competition

CNCS released a Notice of Funds Availability on February 10, 2012 and applications were due by March 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Summaries of external expert reviewer comments on all compliant applications were sent to applicants.

CNCS received 31 applications for the 2012 SIF grant competition. Six applications were eliminated during the initial compliance review, resulting in 25 applications proceeding to the full competition. To learn more about these 25 applicants see the 2012 Social Innovation Fund Applicant Profiles Fact Sheet.

In accordance with the CNCS Grant Competition Posting Policy and Procedure, executive summaries of all compliant applications, copies of successful applications, the names of expert reviewers, and summaries of the comments of expert reviewers for successful applicants are available on the CNCS Open Government page.

Review Process

Applications were assessed through a multi-stage review process that was described in detail in the Notice of Funds Availability. This process included the following stages:

  • Internal Compliance Review: Applications were screened by CNCS staff to ensure they met basic application requirements listed in the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA).
  • Initial Eligibility Review: Corporation staff reviewed all compliant applications to confirm that they were submitted by eligible organizations, and that they had adequately identified what type of Social Innovation Fund was being proposed (i.e. issue-based or geographic-based).
  • External Expert Review: Expert reviewers assessed applications based on the Program Design, Organizational Capability, and Cost Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy criteria. Each application was reviewed by five expert reviewers: three program experts and two evaluation experts.
  • Post-Expert Review Quality Control: After the external reviewers completed their assessment, staff reviewed the results for fairness and consistency.
  • Selection of Applications for Internal Review: Based on the results of the Expert Review and taking into account consideration of the priority issues identified, CNCS staff determined which applications advanced to Internal Review.
  • Internal/Staff Review: CNCS staff also assessed the Program Design, Organizational Capacity, and Cost Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy sections of the applications, particularly focusing on applicants’ strength of relationships and collaborations, opportunity for scale, potential to impact public discussion, and rigor and sophistication of evidence and evaluation.
  • Clarification Stage: Following staff assessment, some applicants received requests to provide clarifying information.
  • Selection for Funding: CNCS staff determined which applications to recommend to the CEO of CNCS, Wendy Spencer, for selection based on the results of the Expert Review, Internal Review, and Clarification as well as the priorities, balancing characteristics, additional considerations, and strategic characteristics listed in the NOFA. The CEO selected the final portfolio of Social Innovation Fund grantees. Selected applicants then entered into negotiations of cooperative agreements with CNCS.
  • Feedback to Applicants: Each applicant received the results of the Expert Review, and if applicable, the Internal Review pertaining to their application. Feedback is based on the review of the original application and does not reflect any information that may have been provided during clarification.

FY 2011 Competition Page

FY 2010 Competition Page

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