Obama Launches Social Innovation Fund

After following Obama’s social entrepreneurship policy for over a year and watching it move along slowly, we have word that the Corporation for National and Community Service has launched the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant competition (here is their notice of funds availability). From the White House:

The SIF will direct funding through innovative, hands-on grant makers (or intermediaries) across the country.  These grant makers will identify fund and support over a period of years promising nonprofit organizations working in low-income communities.

It’s an approach that has clear benefits.

It leverages private funding from grant makers and others.  Each federal dollar will be matched with at least $3 of private funding, for a total of $200 million or greater.

It offers nonprofits critical support with respect to management, staffing, data collection, fundraising and other challenges that they will need to overcome as they grow.

It provides for investments in multiple nonprofits in an issue area or geography, allowing the best innovations to rise to the top.

eGov monitor – A Policy Dialogue Platform | Promoting Better Governance.


2 thoughts on “Obama Launches Social Innovation Fund

  1. I am disappointed to read here that this is only available for non-profits, particularly as a White House representative personally told me otherwise. Sonal Shah, the Director of the White House Office for Social Innovation, said in her keynote at the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference that this money would be available to social enterprises. Then when I spoke with her personally after this keynote, she reiterated this. If the money isn’t available to social enterprises, then why was she telling thousands of social enterpreneurial leaders at a social enterprise conference that they could apply? Someone doesn’t have their information right.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I have reread my post and as you can see from the links — only non-profits are mentioned in the eGov Monitor article — There is a quote from Michelle Obama at the end of the article mentioning non-profits.

    Also, check out the call for apps link at White House — only non–profits.

    The deadline just passed and they will announce winners July 10. Odds are the are big non-profts that get the $$$.

    We’ll wait and see. BTW, what date did Sonal Shah speak at Harvard. Would like to try to track down a transcript.

    Thanks for the information and sorry that it only applies to non-profits.

    Unfortunately, the terms social entrepreneurship, social innovation and social enterprise mean different things to different people.

    Also, this may be a case of politics vs policy vs policy implementation, the later is not done by the politicians who sell and pass policy by but by bureaucrats and their non-gov friends.

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