Category Archives: Social Innovation Fund

Big Foundations & Effective Government Spending

My last post on the way that large, private foundations are dropping the ball by not participating as intermediaries in the Social Innovation Fund (and my worry that they’ll opt out of Pay for Success as well) triggered a number of responses that I’d like to respond to: “Is one reason for them to avoid […]

Large Foundations Dropping the Ball on Government Programs

The Social Innovation Fund and the proposed Pay For Success program both depend on strong “intermediaries” to work. With the Social Innovation Fund, the government is providing funds to grantmaking organizations, which then use the money to support “subgrantees” (direct service nonprofits). In the Pay For Success program, the government would contract with an intermediary […]

A Little More Transparency at the Social Innovation Fund

During the debate in late August around the Social Innovation Fund, the core of the discussion revolved around the degree of transparency that the Fund should exercise. At the time, I dismissed much of the controversy as a non-scandal. However, I wrote that the one major mistake that the Fund was making was not releasing […]

Philanthropic Freedom & the Social Innovation Fund

Let’s set aside the specific issues that have been debated regarding the Social Innovation Fund and for a moment simply reflect on existence of the public debate. One thing that the Social Innovation Fund is highlighting in stark relief is the broad freedom that private foundations have to conduct their activities as they see fit. […]

Another Non-Scandal at the Social Innovation Fund

The Social Innovation Fund is back in the headlines over what appears to me another non-issue. Recall that over the summer, the SIF landed in the NY Times over (what turned out to be unfounded) accusations of favoritism in the grant decision process. Now the Nonprofit Quarterly has run a feature story (see note below) […]

Social Innovation Fund Released Additional Details

The Social Innovation Fund announced on Friday that they are releasing additional details in response to the debate that broke out in late August on this blog and around the web. The Fund’s press release said: “The grant announcement also generated a healthy debate about openness and transparency during the Social Innovation Fund process. We […]

How the Social Innovation Fund Selected Grantees

I have to move on to a bunch of other topics that have gotten stacked up in my blog post queue given all the Social Innovation Fund discussion. But I want to cover one more aspect of the situation first because I’ve gotten a number of questions about it (including from non-finalist grantees). The event […]

Social Innovation Fund Application Repository

As I announced in my column yesterday, I am collaborating with the Chronicle of Philanthropy to host a repository for non-finalist Social Innovation Fund applications. The 11 finalist applications are available on the Fund’s website along with the comments of reviewers. To kick things off, Social Venture Partners has published their non-finalist application, which you […]

Next Steps for Social Innovation Fund: A Call to Action

This is my most recent column in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. You can find a full archive of my columns here. Lessons in Social Innovation: a Call to Action August 23, 2010 | Chronicle of Philanthropy Over the past few days, debate among nonprofit experts about transparency at the Social Innovation Fund has mushroomed into […]

New Profit Releases Social Innovation Fund Application

On Saturday, the New York Times’ Stephanie Strom published an article covering the Social Innovation Fund transparency controversy. The article cites unnamed sources confirming the widely held assumption that the applicant which reviewer Paul Light gave the lowest rating to, but which went on to win a grant, was in fact New Profit. Last night, […]