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Portfolio Spotlights

The Bridge from Education to Employment

Back view of a student in cap and gown.(January 2016) The New Year is always a time of great promise. For the past five years, the Social Innovation Fund has been instrumental in helping to create sustainable economic growth and opportunity for the communities we serve. This month, Social Innovation Fund is putting a Spotlight On four of our grantees that are investing to expand access to education and home-ownership to build lifelong financial security for adults, youth and their families.  

Capital Impact Partners Expanding Access to Affordable Homeownership
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation: Building Evidence for “What Works” in Youth Development
Mile High United Way Advancing Early Literacy in Colorado
United Way for Southeastern Michigan Helps Prepare Kids for Learning

New Opportunities to Achieve Goals

A building in development.(December 2015) As we look forward to a New Year with new opportunities, it’s a good time to shine a light on future goals. This month, SIF is putting a Spotlight On three of our grantees that are helping individuals, organizations, and government to learn new skills that will help in achieving goals.  

Corporation for Supportive Housing and Communities Demonstrate How Housing Reduces Healthcare Cost
Harvard Kennedy School Social Impact Bond Lab Helping Governments Explore New Social-Service Funding Models
University of Utah's Policy Innovation Lab Creates Pipeline of Pay for Success Programs in the Intermountain West

Improving Lives Through Education

Male student holding a book.(November 2015) It is the time of year when many of us pause to give thanks and the Social innovation Fund would like to acknowledge all of its grantees that are working to improve communities everyday. This month, we’d like to shine a Spotlight On three of our grantees that are working with youth to improve their lives and futures through education.  

GreenLight Fund Helping to Bridge the Opportunity Gap for Low-Income Children and Youth
Jobs for the Future/National Fund for Workforce Solutions Building Employer-Driven Industry Partnerships
The Boston Foundation Helping Boston Students Get Ready for, Get Into, and Get Through College

Keeping Youth Healthy and Motivated

Children playing soccer outdoors.(October 2015) This month, as the new school year gets into full swing, the Social Innovation Fund is shining a Spotlight On programs that are keeping youth motivated and healthy throughout the school year. The three grantees featured in this month’s spotlight include those working in the classroom as well as through after school and other support programming. 

National Council on Crime and Delinquency Supports Three Communities  to Explore Pay for Success Models Supporting Positive Youth Development
United Way of Greenville County: Helping Middle School Students Stay on Track for Success
U.S. Soccer Foundation Helping Youth Stay Active After School

2014 Grantees - One Year Into Their SIF Grant

(September 2015) This month, the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is putting the Spotlight On three of our 2014 Grantees--one year into their grant to see what they have accomplished to date. The three grantees span all three SIF focus areas and are using a collective impact approach to addressing education and employment opportunities, health outcomes in low-income communities, and childhood hunger. 

Jobs for the Future Pursues Innovative Approaches to Serve Disconnected Youth
Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., Partners with the SIF to Improve Health Outcomes in South Texas
Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign Helps Children Get the Healthy Food They Need, Every Day

Academic Achievement and Early Education

(August 2015) The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is putting the Spotlight On its grantees that are focused on increasing educational opportunities, readiness, and academic achievement for today’s youth.

Greater Twin Cities United Way Leads Collective Approach to Help Children
Institute for Child Success Explores Funding Models to Expand Effective Early Childhood Programs
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Helping Raise Third-Grade Reading Scores in San Mateo County, California

Planning for Economic Success and Independence

(July 2015) The Social Innovation Fund is putting the Spotlight On its grantees that are utilizing education and employment services to build pathways to economic opportunity and independence for citizens in low-income communities.  

AARP Foundation Helps Low-Income Women Achieve Economic Stability
New Profit Inc., Uses Private-Public Partnerships to Foster Collective Action
Venture Philanthropy Partners Helps DC-Area Youth Transition to Successful Adulthood

Promoting Healthy Futures for Vulnerable Citizens

A GHHI hazard reduction worker paints a new, lead-free window frame. Photo by Andre Chung

(June 2015) The Social Innovation Fund is putting the Spotlight On its programs that are promoting healthy futures for vulnerable citizens. These programs address physical and behavioral health issues through prevention, intervention, and access to care. 

AIDS United Builds Local Partnerships to Expand Access to HIV Care
John A. Hartford Foundation Brings Evidence-Based Model of Depression Treatment to Rural Health Clinics in Mountain West
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative's Asthma Program Helps Families Breathe Easier

Putting Americans Back to Work

Goodwill of Silicon Valley

(May 2015) These four intermediary organizations are helping individuals to build the knowledge and skills to put Americans back to work by offering job training and related support services that prepare citizens in low-income communities for livable wage jobs. 

REDF Builds a Case for Social Enterprise
CEO and Mayor's Fund Help Shape Policy with Evidence
LISC Shows Value of Integrated Services
Third Sector Capital Partners Promotes Pay for Success Innovation


Additional Spotlights:

SIF Pay for Success Convening

SIF Pay for Success Grantees Meet as Cohort, Share Best Practices and Lessons Learned

(February 2015) More than 40 grantee representatives, federal officials, and non-profit and social sector leaders participated in the three-day workshop, which featured rich conversations about lessons learned from early implementation of Pay for Success (PFS) projects, funded with $12 million from the SIF last fall. PFS programs address the needs of low-income communities by having government pay community-based service providers only after they meet pre-determined programmatic outcomes.

Show Me The Evidence Book Cover

Focus on Evidence: Social Innovation Fund Case Study

(January 2015) Written by Ron Haskins and Greg Margolis of the Brookings Institution, Show Me the Evidence: Obama’s Fight for Rigor and Results in Social Policy (Brookings Institution Press, 2014) assesses the background and design of the SIF and five other federal evidence-based funding initiatives. The authors tell the story of the politics and policy debates that led to the programs’ creation, describe the programs’ designs and grantmaking processes, and consider their initial results and future potential.

(January 2015) Evidence enthusiasts convened at The Brookings Institution on Dec. 1 to participate in the release event for a new book, Show Me the Evidence, written by Ron Haskins and Greg Margolis. One of many salient points made by Haskins during this event was the fact that the federal tiered-evidence initiatives have integrated social science research into public policy conversations in unprecedented ways.


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