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.
The Corporation for National and Community Service recently announced a Notice of Funding Availability of up to $65.8 million for the Social Innovation Fund’s 2014 competition. This is the largest grant pool in the history of the program, launched in 2009. The Social Innovation Fund accepts applications from foundations and other grantmakers seeking to grow innovative, effective solutions in low-income communities in the U.S.
In 2014, successful applicants will receive grants of between $1 and $10 million per year per year for three to five years. Grants will be matched dollar for dollar by the grantmakers, who conduct their own open competitions to select nonprofits focused on youth development, healthy futures and economic opportunity. The 2014 competition prioritizes applications with strong plans to support opportunity youth (those ages 14 to 24 disconnected from school or work), and other particularly vulnerable populations. The competition will also prioritize applicants that plan to leverage the collective impact approach where local business, government and nonprofits work together to identify common challenges and effective solutions and then take action together.
Applications are due April 22, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Successful applicants will be notified in August 2014. Applicants are strongly encouraged to send a Notice of Intent to Apply by March 24, 2014.
Social Innovation Fund Videos
The Social Innovation Fund: Catalyzing Resources for Greater Social Impact (Sept. 2012)
The Social Innovation Fund's Progress (Sept. 2013)
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, twenty intermediary organizations have been awarded funding – 11 in 2010, five more in 2011, and four 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.
In total, the 16 intermediaries from 2010 and 2011 held competitive processes and selected 197 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. Social Innovation Fund intermediaries selected in 2012 are in the process of completing their open competitions for subgrantee applications.
Additional Resources and Information on the Social Innovation Fund
- Stories of Impact from the Social Innovation Fund, 2014
- Social Innovation Fund 2010 - 2012 Investment Report
- Social Innovation Fund intermediary fact sheet
- Information about previous Social Innovation Fund grant competition cycles, 2010 - 2012
- Social Innovation Fund intermediary profiles
- Social Innovation Fund subgrantee program locations
- Collaborating funders
- The Social Innovation Fund Foundation Registry: created by the Social Impact Exchange, the Social Innovation Fund Foundation Registry is a web-based platform and designed to simplify the process for eligible Social Innovation Fund intermediaries and subgrantees to obtain matching funds from foundations.
- Lessons Learned Funder Guides from the Scaling What Works initiative
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: http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/social-innovation-fund