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A key goal of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is to build the evaluation capacity of nonprofit organizations so they can successfully assess whether their programs are truly creating impact. The CNCS Evidence Exchange is a virtual repository of reports intended to help our grantees and other interested stakeholders find information about evidence- and research - based national service and social innovation programs.

The following reports focus on public-private partnerships, scaling, and evaluation findings of SIF intermediaries.

Building Organizational Capacity for Rigorous Evaluation: Lessons Learned from the Social Innovation Fund

By requiring its grantees to build their own evaluation capacity, as well as the capacity of subgrantees, and by disseminating the knowledge these organizations acquire, the SIF is helping the social sector to improve its effectiveness. In this report, grantees and subgrantees from the first SIF Classic cohort relate the experiences of conducting their required evaluation projects, and how they built their evaluation capacity by doing so.

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Economic Opportunity Issue Brief #1: Building the Bridge from Training to Employment

The SIF’s emphasis on evidence aligns with national efforts to create results-oriented employment programs. By investing federal funds to scale and evaluate promising job training and workforce development programs, the SIF is helping grow the evidence base for programs that link the unemployed to jobs and career pathways. This issue brief, the first of a two-part series, highlights approaches used by two SIF grantees to help low-income job seekers move from training to employment. 

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Economic Opportunity Issue Brief #2: Strategies to Promote Financial Security

The second installment of our two-part series addressing innovative approaches to tacking economic challenges in America.  This issue brief highlights three SIF programs that help low-income families improve their financial security and provides valuable lessons for organizations interested in implementing programs to build the financial strength of low-income communities.


State of the SIF Report: Using Evidence to Scale What Works

The State of the SIF outlines our latest efforts at enhancing the value of philanthropy, improving performance by closely examining indicators of success, measuring impact to produce stronger evidence, and scaling what works to accelerate broad-scale change. In addition, the report features a summary of the SIF's portfolio of grantees. 

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From Transactional to Transformational - United Ways Partner for Impact

This report recounts the experiences of two United Way affiliates, Mile High United Way of Denver, CO and United Way for Southeastern Michigan of Detroit, MI, which were selected to be SIF intermediaries in 2011. It describes how SIF grants have changed their organizational approach by enabling them to adopt or enhance evidence-based practices for finding, selecting, and supporting high-performing organizations as SIF subgrantees.

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Building Partnerships to Support Health Solutions for Rural Communities

The SIF and its grantees have learned important lessons about the challenges and opportunities involved in forging public-private partnerships in rural communities, as well as what works to bring evidence-based public health solutions to these areas. In this article, we share the stories of the SIF’s work with these initiatives, and share lessons from the work for public and private funders.

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Pay for Success Webinar for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

This webinar presents an overview of the concepts and mechanics of Pay for Success, as well as examples of how CDFIs can engage in the PFS field.  The presentation features presenters from the Social Innovation Fund, the US Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and Enterprise Community Partners.

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Budgeting for Rigorous Evaluation: Insights from the Social Innovation Fund

Read insights, and tips on budgeting for evaluation based on the experiences of the 2010 and 2011 cohorts of Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantees/intermediaries and subgrantees. This paper provides useful information to future SIF intermediaries and subgrantees and the broader philanthropic and nonprofit communities to help them better budget for evaluation.

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State of the Pay for Success Field: Opportunities, Trends and Recommendations

The State of the Pay for Success Field report offers compelling insight into the rapidly growing field of Pay for Success, common elements of PFS projects to date, opportunities for local and state governments and nonprofit service providers to learn from existing projects, and recommendations for the social sector to consider, in order to spur even more growth in the field.

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Social Innovation Fund Investment Report

Learn more about how the Corporation for National and Community Service is investing to expand community-driven solutions and changing the game to generate more powerful results for Americans across the country in the Social Innovation Fund 2010-2013 Investment Report.

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Pioneering an Evidence-Based Model

This paper is part of a series designed to share information, best practices, and lessons learned from the development and implementation of the SIF. It provides an overview of the SIF initiative, an explanation of the SIF’s innovative learning strategy, a description of SIF-supported interventions (programs that address social and community challenges) and evidence of their effectiveness as well as the rigorous process used to evaluate SIF-funded programs.

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Pay for Success: A Primer for Social Innovators

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) presents Pay for Success: A Primer for Social Innovators.  This primer offers valuable resources to beginners in the Pay for Success field and highlights SIF’s 2014 PFS competition grantees.


SIF Evaluation Plan Guidance

As a part of our commitment to sharing lessons learned through the implementation of our programs, the SIF Evaluation Plan Guidance can serve as a detailed, step by step planning guide for organizations that wish to implement rigorous evaluations. In alignment with standards set by the SIF and other federal agencies, this report emphasizes the evidence and impact of program effectiveness.

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Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Stanford Social Innovation Review Spring 2014 Issue Supplement

The Stanford Social Innovation Review and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations profiles SIF Director, Michael Smith and two SIF grantmakers in their Spring 2014 issue.

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