Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Social Innovation Fund Round-up

Update 8/12/2010:
Adin Miller has been generous enough to compile a huge list of Social Innovation Fund commentary, going back to May of 2009. Check it out.
End update

I know this isn't the most exciting first post back, but I've been tracking and compiling commentary on the recent Social Innovation Fund announcement. As you can see from the posts at the bottom of the following list, things are getting a little interesting, so I thought I'd share this "round-up" with the general public. I'll come back to this and update as things develop, adding at the bottom. Post go in chronological order and the original SIF announcement can be found here. Please, if I've missed something, let me know.

I've got some more posts lined up so I promise I'll be back soon with something more exciting.

Background (not comprehensive):

The Economist:Let’s hear those ideas
           -Excellent overview of the SIF annoucement, puts it in broader context of the social innovation/social entrepreneurship movement. Compares British and US efforts.

Tactical Philanthropy:  “What exactly is the Social Innovation Fund?

Tactical Philanthropy: “Why the Social Innovation Fund Matters

Tactical Philanthropy: “My comments on the Social Innovation Fund

Adin Miller’s Blog: “Analysis of the Social Innovation Fund Update


Tactical Philanthropy: “Social Innovation Fund Announces Grantees
           -Initial coverage, positive of the overall choices “The Social Innovation Fund Grants Focus on What Works
           -Initial coverage, critical of choices, laments choice of intermediaries with established records, rather than riskier start-ups

JustMeans:  “First Social innovation Funds Grants Announced
           -Initial coverage, critical, agrees with analysis

Education Week: Social Innovation Fund Grantees Announced
           -Initial coverage, disappointed education award winners don’t focus more on younger youth

Tactical Philanthropy: “Builders, Buyers and the Social Innovation Fund
           -Response to post, defends choices, says government is working on building capacity, not “purchasing” social services

Adin Miller’s Blog: “Analysis of Social Innovation Fund results
           -Very in-depth analysis of SIF grants, including link to data sheet. Echoes issues raised in, concerned about funding “what works.” Also brings up issues of transparency.

SSIR: REDF Leverages First Social Innovation Fund Grant
           -Testimony from award winner. Defends funding of intermediaries, talks about adding value to funds and leveraging

Adin Miller’s Blog: Where’s the Capital Market for the Social Innovation Fund?
           -Reiterates transparency concerns about SIF

Non-profit Quarterly: Questions of Transparency Cloud the Social Innovation Fund.
           -Brings issues of transparency into the center of SIF debate. Strongly attacks Obama administration as being hypocritical

Adin Miller’s Blog: “Transparency Lessons the Social Innovation Fund Should Learn from the Investing in Innovation Fund
            -Discusses NPQ article and re-iterates SIF transparency concerns. Compares SIF process with i3 (Investing in Innovation Fund) process and states SIF should follow i3’s example.

The Corporation for National And Community Service: “Summary of FY 2010 Social Innovation Fund Selection Process
            -Responds to NPQ’s requests for more transparency. Outlines some of the processes behind the grantmaking decisions.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy: “National Service Grant Agency Explores More Open Grant Process
             -Covers the CNCS’ response to issues of transparency. Unnamed official states the CNCS is looking into a more open grant process for the FY2011 and states they will release all of the 11 winning organization’s applications in a few weeks

The Nonprofit Quarterly: “Social Innovation Fund Disclosures Good But Insufficient
              -Responds to Chronicle article and CNCS annoucement. Calls for more transparency and the release of all applications, including those not selected for grants.

Money and Mission--The Chronicle of Philanthropy: “The Social Innovation Fund's Challenge: Helping Nonprofits Survive Failure
             -Overview of the whole Fund, discusses the risky process of innovation and the need for constant evaluation and learning

PND Blog: “A Networked Approach to Social Innovation
           -Discusses the Fund as a networked and collaborative effort

Andrew Wolk’s Blog: “Social Innovation: The Next Chapter
           -Discusses the mainstream acceptance of innovation, but raises concerns that the strategy will turn into a buzz word with no real meaning

Washington Post: “Stonewalling at the Social Innovation Fund
           -Written by Paul Light, a reviewer of SIF grants. Highlights extreme concerns with transparency. Calls out one unnamed organization as being “rated as weak and nonresponsive in a first-phase review, but won a grant anyway.” In comments, Steve Goldberg defends the process and calls out the rhetoric used

Adin Miller’s Blog: “Why do we care about the Social Innovation Fund?”
           -Responds to the Post op-ed. Highlights concerns about loss of SIF credibility as well as potential Congressional oversight.
Tactical Philanthropy: “Transparency Controversy at the Social Innovation Fund"
         -Details the transparency debate and asks for reader’s opinions. States SIF is too important to screw up.

Chronicle of Philanthropy: “Social Innovation Fund Stirs Controversy
         -Contains response to transparency issues from SIF administrator the Corporation for National and Community Service. States that the reason they cannot release more information and unselected applications is because they did not tell applicants they would do so at the beginning of the process.

Steven Goldberg: “Open letter to Nonprofit Quarterly
         -Responds to NPQ’s “Social Innovation Fund Disclosures Good But Insufficient” article in incredible detail. Provides evidence as to why claims of wrongdoing and deception on SIF’s end are incorrect.

New York Times: “Nonprofit Fund Faces Questions About Conflicts and Selection Procedures

Tactical Philanthropy: “New Profit Releases Social Innovation Fund Application

Nonprofit Quarterly: “CNCS Says the Social Innovation Fund Will Release Ratings

Geri Stengel: “The Power of Social Media: The Social Innovation Fund Increases It’s Transparency

Adin Miller: “What Should the Social Innovation Fund Do Next?

Steve Golberg: “The Social Innovation Fund Kerfuffle

Chronicle of Philanthropy: “Sharing What Works

Seliger and Associates: "Social Innovation Fund Not Terribly Innovative"

The Examiner: "Questions Arise as Millions in Federal Grants Got to Former Employers of Obama Administration Officials"

Tactical Philanthropy: “Next Steps for Social Innovation Fund: A Call to Action

Dana Goldstein: “The Personal Connections and Small Government Ethos Behind Obama’s Social Innovation Fund.

Chronicle of Philanthropy: “Amid Concerns of Favoritism, Federal Officials Disclose New Details on Selection Process
       -Contains Paul Light’s response to the release of the applications and ratings

Social Velocity: “Beating Innovation to Death

Tactical Philanthropy: “Social Innovation Fund Repository

Transcript of SIF Twitter debate

Empax: “Leading by (Wrong) Example

Ventureneer: “SIF Debate Generates Transparency, Recommendations for Future

Tactical Philanthropy
: “How the Social InnovationFund Selected Grantees

REDF Blog: “Be the best of whatever you are

Philanthropy News Digest:Conversation with Matthew Bishop

Steve Goldberg: “SIF Intermediaries: More Drops in Fewer Buckets

Matt Klein: “The Next SIF ‘Controversy’

Disclaimer: The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the positions, strategies or opinions of Venture Philanthropy Partners

1 comment:

  1. Good summary. There are a few other posts that are worth including in the background section (there were a lot of posts in April). I would include the SIF funding map as well. Let me know if you want my links.