Federal Agency Announces $21 Million to Expand Impact of Community Solutions that Work

Aug 17, 2016

Friends of the Children, the North Carolina Partnership for Children, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and United Way of Central Indiana awarded SIF grants

Washington, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service, today announced the winners of its Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Classic grant competition. The grants totaling $21 million will support youth development, economic opportunity, and healthy outcomes for youth and low-income families across the country.

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a powerful approach to transforming lives and communities that positions the federal government to be a catalyst for impact – mobilizing private resources to find and grow community solutions with evidence of results. As part of the SIF, grantees must match the federal funds dollar-for-dollar and again by the organizations they select to receive grants.

“When the Social Innovation Fund was launched, we set a goal to find solutions that work and make them work for more people,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers the Social Innovation Fund. “Six years later, I am proud to see the extraordinary impact these programs are having. I am thrilled to welcome these new grantees, who are cutting edge grant-makers in social innovation, to help us continue this important work. Like all grantees at CNCS, these organizations will get things done for America, and will not only bolster local programs’ capacity to serve more individuals in need, but also provide communities with solutions that work.”

In the next several months, organizations awarded will hold an open competition to select community-based organizations to receive subgrants of at least $100,000 for periods of three to five years to expand their reach to impact more people.

“The Social Innovation Fund is an innovative program that seeks to invest in truly compelling solutions to the persistent challenges facing our communities,” said Lois Nembhard, acting director of the Social Innovation Fund at CNCS. “The winners announced today have proven track records for finding solutions that work, and we are thrilled to award them a Social Innovation Fund grant. The competition process is highly selective, and we are eager to have the opportunity to work with them to rigorously evaluate their programs and expand their high-impact work to serve more people in need.” 

The SIF Classic grantees announced today are:

  • Friends of the Children
    The FOTC program employs professional mentors as “Friends” to children starting in kindergarten and continuing to high school graduation, leading to improved outcomes for at-risk low-income and foster care children. Over the next six months, FOTC will select five to seven subrecipients across the US to expand its impact to serve more than 600 additional children. ($4 million grant over four years)
  • The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC)
    The Shape NC: Healthy Starts for Young Children Initiative will deepen its impact on the communities served through improved health outcomes and decreased health disparities among children from birth to age five in childcare. Over the next six months, NCPC will competitively select approximately eight subrecipients in North Carolina to grow Shape NC even further.  ($4 million grant over four years)

  • United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM)
    The SIF grant will expand the impact of UWSEM’s Bib to Backpack initiative, which builds a parenting continuum that recruits, engages, and empowers parents to improve family self-efficiency and parenting skills. Over the next six months, UWSEM will select four to six subrecipients to expand Bib to Backpack, strengthen connections between programs, and increase childhood outcomes in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties in Michigan including the cities of Detroit and Pontiac. ($6 million grant over four years)

  • United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI)
    The Great Families initiative will address key factors that impact family stability, such as finances, employment, education and health, through a two-generation model that serves the whole family. Over the next six months UWCI will select up to eight subrecipients to provide integrated neighborhood based Family Economic Success (FES) and Early Childhood Education (ECE) services to at least 1,000 families. ($7 million grant over three years)

Since its inception in 2009, the SIF and its private-sector partners have invested almost a billion dollars in compelling community solutions.  In 2014 the SIF launched its’ Pay for Success program to reinforce its commitment to supporting innovative solutions and changing how public and private sector investors allocate philanthropic resources.  The SIF portfolio includes 46 awards to grantees who have selected over 458 nonprofit organizations to grow and further evaluate proven solutions to our nation’s challenges in 46 states and the District of Columbia.  In total, as a result of $295 million in federal grants, more than $627 million in non-federal match commitments has been leveraged.   

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