October 19, 2009, 12:00 - 2:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
Transcript Now Available - Click Here (PDF format, 24 pages, 173 KB)
Will the Social Innovation Fund
Fund Social Innovation?
Monday, October 19, 2009 - 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Click here to download the essay commissioned for this discussion, by Rick Cohen (PDF format, 16 pages, 264 KB)
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, signed by President Obama in April 2009, not only expanded the programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service, it also established the Social Innovation Fund, designed to "work with the grantmaking community to fund promising nonprofits that have demonstrated outcomes" in solving "some of our nation's most difficult social challenges," as the CNCS website put it.
The Fund will direct at least 85 percent of appropriated dollars to "grantmaking entities," which presumably include private and community foundations as well as other sorts of intermediaries, for regranting to promising, proven nonprofits. The grantmaking intermediary will be responsible for the performance of those nonprofits, and will be expected to match federal funding dollar for dollar, with that amount also to be matched by the ultimate grantee.
What, in general, do we know about social innovation and how it occurs? How effective is the Social Innovation Fund likely to be in providing meaningful help to the most promising nonprofits in America? Does the possible inclusion of private and community foundations as "vendors" of government services provide a new model of partnership, or pose a unique threat, for our civic institutions?
To answer these and other questions, we asked RICK COHEN of The Nonprofit Quarterly to prepare a monograph on the prospects for the Social Innovation Fund. This publication (click here to download) served as the focus of the October 19 conversation, which also included former Indianapolis mayor and vice chair of the CNCS board STEPHEN GOLDSMITH, the Heritage Foundation's MATTHEW SPALDING, and CHERYL DORSEY of Echoing Green. The Bradley Center's WILLIAM SCHAMBRA moderated the discussion.
Cohen, Dorsey, Schambra, Goldsmith, Spalding
STEPHEN GOLDSMITH, Corporation for National and Community Service
CHERYL DORSEY, Echoing Green
MATTHEW SPALDING, The Heritage Foundation
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