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Our Programs

Social Innovation Fund

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) positions the federal government as a catalyst for impact – in which evidence-based programs and interventions are used to enable social innovation across America.


We help our grantees are engage in rigorous third-party evaluations to show the full impact of their programs. These evaluations reveal insights about the programs and inform fellow grantees. The knowledge can then be used to build successful programs in the future.

Since its inception in 2009, the SIF and its private-sector partners have invested over a billion dollars in compelling community solutions through its SIF Classic and SIF Pay For Success (PFS) programs.

Infographic demonstrating SIF investment of around $350 million plus private of around $700 million equals over $1 billion invested

With the simple but vital goal of finding what works, and making it work for more people, the SIF and its private-sector partners create a learning network of organizations to implement innovative, evidence-based solutions to local and national challenges in three priority areas:

Economic Opportunity, Healthy Futures, Youth Development

How it Works:

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Innovation

The SIF is committed to investing in innovative solutions that displace ineffective programs. For the SIF, “social innovation” means “new ways to solve old problems that are faster, cost-effective, data-driven and lead to better results for the public good.” Although the practice of social innovation is commonly understood to be the invention and testing of new ideas, the SIF seeks to support innovations that have advanced beyond the beginning stages, are showing signs of effectiveness, and have the potential for greater scale.

Evidence

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The SIF provides both technical assistance and funding for required evaluations of the Classic programs and the evaluation of the Pay for Success (PFS) model to provide robust information about which programs and models work most effectively, cost less, or lead to better results for our country’s communities. To learn more, visit the SIF’s Evidence and Evaluation page.


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To ensure the successful expansion of awarded programs, the SIF selects grantees that with expertise in assisting organizations in building their capacity to reach more people and change more lives, and provides training and technical assistance to support the process.


Grantees

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Through the SIF's Classic program, awards are made to experienced grantmakers with strong skills and track records of success in competitively selecting, validating, and growing high-performing programs. Grantees then run their own open competitions to identify subgrantees, or innovative nonprofit organizations and state and local government entities. 

To view a list of the SIF's grantees and the organizations they selected, visit the Funded Organizations page.

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Match

Across both SIF's Classic and PFS programs, grantees and subgrantees must match every federal dollar one-to-one, helping to triple the federal investment, augment working capital and spark new collaborations

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Knowledge Sharing

The SIF is committed to improving the effectiveness of nonprofits, funders, and government agencies by rigorously documenting and sharing best practices and lessons learned. To learn more, visit the Knowledge Initiative page.

 


Please contact innovation@cns.gov with questions.

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