The Social Innovation Fund has announced a federal investment of $33.7 million to seven of the nation’s leading grant-makers. The fund, which is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), was created in 2010 to help further the work of community-based nonprofits who show evidence of their effectiveness.
CNCS holds a competitive application process to identify grant-making intermediaries, and these intermediaries receive between $1 million and $10 million dollars for up to five years. Intermediaries match the federal dollars they receive and must use at least 80 percent of federal dollars for grants.
The intermediaries then design and implement their own rigorous competition to identify sub-grantees who are using innovative evidence-based program models. Once grantees are identified, they receive grants of at least $100,000 over five years and must match the awards, dollar for dollar.
“We are excited about this new class of Social Innovation Fund grantees because they are among the most cutting edge grant-makers in social innovation,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation, in a statement. “The investment in these organizations will not only bolster local programs’ capacity to serve more individuals in need, but also provide communities with programs that work.”
An additional $18.1 million in continuation funding was also announced for existing grantees to sustain program growth.
2014 Youth Development Grantees:
Boston Foundation, Boston Coaching for Completion
A grant of $1.8 million for one year will allow the Boston Foundation to implement Boston Coaching for Completion, an effort designed to raise post-secondary completion rates, especially for the most vulnerable youth populations in the Boston area.
Jobs for the Future, Inc., Opportunity Youth Innovation Fund
Through a $6 million investment, Jobs for the Future and its partner, the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions, seeks to improve education and career outcomes for youth disconnected from school or work, also known as Opportunity Youth, in 12 communities across the country. The expectation is that participating youth will earn a diploma or its equivalent and enter postsecondary education at twice the rate of peers who do not receive these services.
Share Our Strength, The No Kid Hungry Campaign: Ending Childhood Hunger in America
With $1.5 million in funding from the SIF, Share Our Strength will accelerate the growth of its No Kid Hungry campaign. With a bold goal to end childhood hunger in the U.S., Share Our Strength plans to complete the first-ever assessment of the impact of childhood hunger of a comprehensive strategy that engages all five federal nutrition programs.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Big Lift Social Innovation Fund
$7.5 million will allow the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to implement The Big Lift, a collective impact collaborative of more than 100 organizations that will provide funds to preschool and other organizations involved in the academic and social education of preschool students and is designed to increase the number of third graders who read proficiently in 11 high-need school districts in San Mateo County, California.
United Way of Greenville County, Middle Grades Success Initiative
Through a $3 million grant, United Way of Greenville County will design a dropout prevention program for middle-grade students. The program will use an Early Warning Response System, real-time data to identify students who begin to disengage from school. A team will then match students with appropriate interventions and resources
Judith Fenlon is the editor of the Money and Business Section of the Chronicle of Social Change.