July 31, 2012

Social Innovation Fund Awards $42-Million

The Social Innovation Fund, a federal program designed to help nonprofits expand effective programs, has awarded more than $42-million to 11 groups in its third round of annual grants, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced today.

The fund, which gives money to grant makers that in turn award it to innovative nonprofits, has allotted $11-million to four new groups and $33.9-million to seven existing grantees.

The newcomers, which will each receive $2-million over two years:

• The Capital Area United Way, for early-childhood programs in the greater Baton Rouge area.

• The GreenLight Fund,  for programs to help improve the academic performance of low-income young people in Boston, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay area. GreenLight seeks out the best programs and finances their work in select cities.  (See a profile of the fund from The Chronicle.)

• The John A. Hartford Foundation, for programs to treat depression in rural communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

• Twin Cities Strive, in partnership with the Greater Twin Cities United Way, for programs to improve the academic performance of low-income young people in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region.

Those winners were chosen from 25 eligible applicants—up from 18 last year but below the 54 that competed in the Social Innovation Fund's first year.

The fund also renewed awards for seven of the 16 groups that received the grants in the past and "delivered consistent and compelling results in their geographic and issue areas." The other nine have multiyear grants that were not up for renewal. They are AIDS United; the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation; Jobs for the Future and the National Fund for Workforce Solutions; Local Initiatives Support Corporation; the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and the Center for Economic Opportunity; the Missouri Foundation for Health; and New Profit.

Both the grant makers and the grantees are required to match their grants dollar for dollar with private or other nonfederal money, which means a total of nearly $150-million will be spent on the social-innovation projects.

Send an e-mail to Suzanne Perry.