The SIF was founded on the fundamental idea that we can make enormous progress toward overcoming significant challenges by finding and growing the most promising solutions. Through our grantmaking programs, SIF Classic and SIF Pay for Success (PFS), we empowered organizations to identify and support solutions that make an impact in transforming communities in three focus areas:
- Economic Opportunity: Increasing economic opportunities and financial stability for economically marginalized individuals and families
- Healthy Futures: Improving health outcomes, promoting healthy lifestyles, and decreasing health disparities that disproportionately affect low-income communities.
- Youth Development: Preparing children and youth for success in school, active citizenship, productive work, and healthy and safe lives, including crime reduction initiatives focused on juvenile delinquency and victimization prevention and response.
We awarded grants to organizations and partnerships, or “grantees” selected through a rigorous, open competition to direct resources to promising, results-oriented nonprofit organizations and state and local government entities, or “subgrantees” operating on a local level and making measurable impact.
By requiring each federal dollar be matched one-to-one by private and non-federal sources, the SIF encouraged innovative organizations to build financial partnerships with non-federal grantmakers and donors, maximizing the impact of government funding and leading to potential continued funding beyond the scope of the grant.
Grantees also received significant technical assistance to support implementation of their community-based solutions. Participation in the SIF's initiatives gives grantees and their subgrantees greater visibility and access to a national network of funders and nonprofits.