Thanks Sean for both of your posts and for grounding this discussion in what’s written in the Serve America Act. As you say, the foundation for how the Fund will work is described in the bill. To add to the detail you give above, the Serve America Act requires the Corporation for National and Community Service to administer the Innovation Fund and determine which grantmaking intermediaries will receive money, and with government matching the investments made by the private-sector. (Note that the bill does allow the Corporation to use up to 10% of the money to fund nonprofit organizations directly without going through intermediaries, but that’s a small percentage of the total $50 million.)
It’s truly astounding to have the President give a speech about the work of social entrepreneurs and how we can identify, invest in, and scale social sector solutions. His speech presented a new vision for the role of government in solving our nation’s social problems, including how government can more effectively partner with nonprofits, philanthropy, the private sector, and citizens. It’s exciting to have leadership for the Innovation Fund at the highest levels of our government, and for President Obama to recognize it not just as another program, but as a model for his vision of how government should partner with the nonprofit, philanthropic and private sectors. We certainly hope you’re right that this Fund ends up being a really big deal!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that none of this will happen if Congress doesn’t appropriate the funding for the Innovation Fund. We hope that supporters of this idea will call the House and Senate appropriations committees to convey their support.
Kelly Ward, Director of America Forward