For the past five years, the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, has transformed how charitable funds flow into communities. SIF has been used as an investment model to expand the reach of results-driven programs.
Last Friday, capping off a week of celebrating SIF’s first five years, the White House hosted the first-ever “What Works Showcase”: a live, interactive event that featured a diverse selection of SIF investments, including social entrepreneurs leading innovative nonprofits and social enterprises transforming lives and strengthening communities across the country. In this science fair-style event, 10 high-impact organizations presented their proven, novel solutions to address some of our toughest challenges in the areas of economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development.
These demonstrations helped translate evidence-based policy into tangible, real-life stories. We featured organizations such as Single Stop, an organization that helps solve the barriers facing low-income students and increase their chances of earning a college degree. SIF funding has enabled Single Stop to go from serving nearly 24,000 students in the first two years of their Community College Initiative to more than 100,000 over the next three years, and it is enabling their next phase of growth to reach over 1 million people annually.
We also hosted Medical AIDS Outreach of Alabama, which is bringing HIV specialty care to rural Alabama and elevating the standard of, consistency of, and access to care for rural Alabamians. They demonstrated telemedicine technology providing medical services to HIV-positive individuals living in rural Alabama. As a result of an SIF-enabled investment from AIDS United in 2010, Medical AIDS Outreach has been able to provide access to care in 47 of Alabama’s 67 counties and offered better access to HIV-specific primary medical care by eliminating long-distance travel for these services.
In just five years, SIF has invested more than $700 million in public and private funds, empowering over 200 nonprofit sub-grantees representing more than 35 states, and in turn serving hundreds of thousands of individuals in need. When it comes to tackling the most pressing problems, SIF has catalyzed impact across the country.
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The Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a key White House initiative and program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), combines public and private resources to grow the impact of innovative, community-based solutions that have compelling evidence of improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States. The SIF invests in three priority areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. In just a few years the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) and our private-sector partners have invested more than a half a billion dollars in compelling community solutions-- $177.6 million in federal grants plus $423 million in non-federal match commitments in 20 intermediary grantees and 217 nonprofits in 37 states and the District of Columbia.