CEO is a social research and policy organization within the New York City government, created in 2006 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to find new, effective anti-poverty strategies to help low-income New Yorkers. Harvard officials praised five of CEO's programs and expressed hope that other jurisdictions will replicate these financial literacy, education, and employment training initiatives to help the working poor climb up the economic ladder.
“Poverty is one of the great challenges of our time, and as someone who has spent a great deal of time working on the issues of poverty and social policy, I'm particularly pleased that CEO was selected as our Innovations in American Government Award winner,” said David Ellwood, dean of Harvard Kennedy School of Government in a release announcing the honor. “The award honors the Center's efforts to support the working poor at key transition points—starting school, entering the workforce, and having a family.”
CEO was one of the initial 11 intermediaries around the United States selected to receive grants from the Social Innovation Fund. The SIF has provided significant growth capital and support for CEO's efforts to demonstrate the effectiveness of its programs outside New York City. In July 2010, CEO received an annual $5.7 million grant from the SIF to establish programs in Cleveland, Ohio; Kansas City, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; Tulsa, Okla.; San Antonio, Texas; and Youngstown, Ohio.
The programs based on CEO's pilots include the following:
The Social Innovation Fund is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that promotes public and private investments in effective nonprofit organizations to help them grow to serve more people in low-income communities.
To accomplish this goal, the SIF awards grants of $1 million to $5 million for up to five years to grantmaking intermediaries with track records of evidence-based decision-making. These intermediaries then match the federal contributions dollar-for-dollar and hold open competitions to identify and fund the most-effective nonprofits working in low-income communities, which match the grants dollar-for-dollar again.
Since 2010, the SIF has awarded $95 million to 16 intermediaries like CEO that have invested in more than 150 nonprofit organizations in 33 states and Washington, D.C. Each of those organizations is currently implementing innovative programs focused on solving critical community challenges. Thus far, these grants have yielded $250 million in commitments to raise additional funding from private donors to support these powerful solutions.
The 2012 Social Innovation Fund Grants Competition is now open, and we encourage all qualified grantmakers to consider applying. Applications are due by Tuesday, March 27, at 5 p.m. Eastern.
The Social Innovation Fund is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service intended to improve the lives of people in low-income communities. It does so by mobilizing public and private resources to grow promising, innovative community-based solutions that have evidence of compelling impact in three areas of priority need: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development.
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