The Corporation for National and Community Service has recently published answers to frequently asked questions about the forthcoming Social Innovation Fund. This fund, authorized by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, will award grants in the range of $1 to $10 million to existing grantmaking institutions (government agencies, private foundations, etc.) to in turn provide subgrants to nonprofit community organizations to expand or replicate proven initiatives or to develop new initiatives for underserved populations. Although Congress has not yet approved funding for the plan, President Obama has requested that $50 million be appropriated for the Social Innovation Fund for FY 2010.
Besides providing much-needed capacity-building support for community nonprofits, the fund will also work to maximize the impact of government funding by requiring grantmaking institutions to implement evidence-based practices in the funding decision process and to use measurable outcomes to assess the effectiveness of their subgrants. In addition, both grantmaking institutions and nonprofit community organizations that are awarded grants will be required to provide matching funds, such that every $1 in government spending will ultimately result in $3 in funding for programs and services.
For more information on the Social Innovation Fund, read CNCS' Frequently Asked Questions on the Social Innovation Fund or see the following articles and online resources:
White House Seeks $50-Million for 'Social Innovation'
Chronicle of Philanthropy
Mrs. Obama Announces New Fund to Aid Nonprofits
New York Times
What Is the Social Innovation Fund?
The White House Blog
Stephen Sherman, Reference Librarian, Foundation Center-Atlanta