Social Innovation Fund Comments

On Friday, the Corporation for National & Community Service released a Draft Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) for the Social Innovation Fund. This document lays out the application process for the $50 million in grants to be available in 2010 from the Fund.

The document is pretty user friendly and at 24 pages is certainly digestible by anyone who is interested. Note that this is only a “draft”. The Corporation is soliciting comments from the public until January 15. The final NOFA will be released in February 2010.

In July, I wrote a post explaining what the Social Innovation Fund is and another about why I think it matters. What I’d like to do now is kick start a public debate on the NOFA. If you plan to offer comment on the document directly to the Corporation (which simply entails sending them an email at, then I’d like to suggest that you forward me a copy of your comments for publication. Rather than simply have the comment process be one of the public sending responses to the Corporation (who understandably has said they won’t respond to each comment), let’s turn the process into a public conversation.

I realize that this week and next will be dead quiet on this blog and others. So I’ll plan to kick start this conversation in January. In the meantime, if you do submit a comment on the NOFA, please forward me a copy at


  1. Ginny Deerin says:

    As a non-profit based in South Carolina, and one that hopes to be chosen for innovation investment, I am left wondering about the intermediaries. Will the applicants be published so that non-profits can figure out if there is a path for them to compete? In reading the draft, it’s unclear to me.

  2. Ginny, I haven’t finished reading the NOFA yet, but you make an interesting point. I hope you’ll submit a comment to the Corporation and forward it for publication on Tactical Philanthropy.

  3. Adin Miller says:

    There are two ways for a nonprofit to participate in the SIF:
    1. If it’s pre-selected through a review process by an intermediary applicant (a foundation for example) that is awarded a SIF grant; or
    2. If it applies to an intermediary organization that is selected as a SIF grantee but which has not conducted its own grantee selection competition. In this case, the Corporation would announce the SIF grantees (it always announces who its grantees are for other competitions). In Ginny’s case, the intermediary could be a foundation that has geographically elected to fund organizations in in South Carolina or a foundation that is funding an issue area (such as youth development) that compliments the mission of her nonprofit.

    Good question,