Social Innovation Fund and private-sector partners have invested more than a half billion dollars to tap groundbreaking, results-oriented social interventions
Submitted by: CSRwire
Posted: Nov 21, 2013 – 05:55 PM EST
WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 /CSRwire/ - The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced $39.9 million in continuation funding for 10 current Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantees, strengthening the agency’s investment in local nonprofits that are best positioned to transform lives and communities. These funds allow recipients to meet and exceed program goals, expand reach and execute rigorous evaluation models.
SIF, a key White House initiative, aims to transform lives and communities by mobilizing federal and non-federal investment to support and scale innovative, evidence-based, community solutions. The initiative represents a new way of doing business for the federal government, combining rigorous evaluation to test program effectiveness with public-private partnerships that triples the federal investment and accelerates scale. The SIF will also capture and share best practices and lift-up models with potential for replication.
“The Social Innovation Fund is a game-changer,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “At a time when public, private, and nonprofit organizations are struggling to meet the nation’s most pressing challenges, SIF allows us to ensure we are smartly leveraging public investments to catalyze non-federal support and expand programs with a track record of success.”
Since President Obama first launched the program three years ago, SIF and its private-sector partners have committed to investing more than half a billion dollars in compelling community solutions. Including these grants, the SIF portfolio represents a $177.6 million federal investment in nonprofits in 37 states and D.C. through 20 intermediary grantees funding 221 sub-grantees. This modest federal investment is expected to leverage more than $423 million in non-federal match commitments. Already, these efforts are on track to meet long-term goals for scaling and evaluating groundbreaking solutions, with 20 intermediary grantees funding over 221 nonprofit organizations that have reached more than 200,000 individuals in 37 states and the District of Columbia to-date. Grant recipients are addressing three priority areas of need: economic opportunity, youth development and healthy futures.
“The Social Innovation Fund is serious about scaling and testing evidence-based innovations, and lifting up successful models and lessons learned,” said Michael Smith, director of the SIF. “Along with our grantees we’re looking forward to openly sharing our successes and challenges, in hopes to inform and enrich our network and the broader social sector. Through our unique approach, partnerships with grantmakers and diverse funding portfolio, we are excited to help accelerate the pace and efficacy of transformative solutions nationwide.”
Through SIF’s public-private partnership, the 221 nonprofit organizations being funded by the 20 intermediaries, are conducting 86 interventions and assessing results through highly rigorous evaluation models, which are developed in partnership with, and approved by, the SIF research and evaluation team. Grantees are working at the local level with intermediary partners to conduct evaluations using a wide range of high-quality designs, including randomized trials and quasi-experimental designs.
The following SIF grantees received continuation funding:
Selection of SIF grantees is highly competitive. Selected grantees demonstrate a history of success in implementing programs with evidence of results. The 10 continuation grants are being awarded to SIF grantees that were eligible for funding during this grant cycle (based on their initial year of funding) and also have a strong organizational capacity and a high performance level to-date. Most SIF grantees have designed five year programs to expand and test results.
Under the Social Innovation Fund's unique public-private partnership model, each federal dollar granted is matched 1-to-1 by the grantees and again by their subgrantees with money from private and other non-federal sources, thereby increasing the return on taxpayer dollars and strengthening local support. The grants announced today will leverage an estimated $90 million in additional non-federal funds, resulting in a total of an estimated $130 million to support the growth of innovative nonprofits that are using evaluation to learn what works and how programs can be improved.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service and champions community solutions through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.
Editor's Note: Michael Smith, director of the SIF, will be visiting Gasoline Alley for an event hosted by CSRwire CEO Joe Sibilia, Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013, in Springfield, Mass. The event will bring together local social entrepreneurs to highlight areas in Springfield that would benefit from social intervention.