Scaling What Works

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Social Innovation Fund

The Social Innovation Fund is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service intended to improve the lives of people in low-income communities. It does so by mobilizing public and private resources to grow promising, innovative community-based solutions that have evidence of compelling impact in three areas of priority need: economic opportunity, healthy futures and youth development.

The Social Innovation Fund promotes an approach to giving that includes many of the fundamentals that members of the GEO community helped pioneer and that we have long advocated for, and the fund is closely aligned with our own mission to promote grantmaking strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success.

Social Innovation Fund Videos

The Social Innovation Fund: Catalyzing Resources for Greater Social Impact (Sept. 2012)

The Social Innovation Fund's Progress (Sept. 2013)

How does the Social Innovation Fund work?

The Social Innovation Fund awards federal grants to grantmaking institutions ("intermediaries"), which provide the grantmaking mechanisms to deliver Social Innovation Fund dollars locally. These organizations have a track record of identifying, supporting and investing in the growth of promising community organizations.

To date, nineteen intermediary organizations have been awarded funding – 11 in 2010, five more in 2011, and three in 2012– to implement programs in three priority areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. Each intermediary is required to match its federal grant (ranging from $1 million to $10 million annually) dollar for dollar, in cash, and then re-grant the funding to community organizations ("subgrantees") it has selected through an open and competitive process.


The 19 intermediaries awarded in 2010-2012 held competitive processes and selected more than 200 subgrantees to lead projects in communities across the U.S. The subgrantees represent a wide range of organizations, from local nonprofits to faith based organizations to local public agencies and academic institutions.

Additional Resources and Information on the Social Innovation Fund

If you are interested in providing matching funds or want to learn more about projects happening in your community, check out profiles and videos of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Social Innovation Fund portfolios.

To learn more, visit:


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