Social Innovation Fund Round-Up

Posted by Zach Maurin on July 24, 2009

There has been lots of discussion and questions about the Social Innovation Fund (part of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act) around the internet, so here is a round-up of various articles and resources about it. It’s also important to mention the President Obama requested $50 million for the Fund next year, but the House of Representatives Appropriators only approved $35 million (while also funding other service programs below the President’s request). Senate Appropriators are deliberating now, so call and ask them to fully fund the Serve America Act. More info and phone numbers here.

First Lady Michelle Obama at TIME 100 Most Influential People Awards discusses the Fund, saying: “”The idea is simple: find the most effective programs out there and then provide the capital needed to replicate their success First Lady at TIME 100 Most Influential People eventin communities around the country. By focusing on high-impact, results-oriented non-profits, we will ensure that government dollars are spent in a way that is effective, accountable and worthy of the public trust.”

America Forward, the coalition of social entrepreneurs, that developed the idea and advocated for the Social Innovation Fund, has lots of details here.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which will house the SIF, recently posted an FAQ about it.

Sean Stannard-Stockton from Tactical Philanthropy has a great blog post discussing the impact that the SIF can have on the larger nature of non-profit funding from goverment and foundations. His post explains how the Social Innovation Fund has the potential to have a larger ripple affect for philanthropy and scaling social change efforts.

Allison Fine challenges the Social Innovation Fund, and more broadly the approach of venture philanthropy.

And Andrew Wolk from Common Cause provides an equally thought-provoking reply to Allison.

Social Innovation Fund flow chart from the Corporation for National & Community Service

Social Innovation Fund flow chart from the Corporation for National & Community Service


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