As you may have heard, the Corporation for National and Community Service has issued its final call for grant proposals for the Social Innovation Fund. This new initiative will provide up to $50 million in Federal funding to seven to 10 grantmaking organizations, who will in turn distribute those funds to “effective, innovative nonprofits working in low-income communities” on issues of “economic opportunity,” “youth development and school support,” and “promoting healthy lifestyles.” Both the grantmakers and the nonprofits will have to match the awards they receive dollar-for-dollar.
CNCS has received feedback from donor representatives and affinity groups on the model for the Social Innovation Fund over the past few months, and adjusted some of their initial requirements accordingly. For example, the previous minimum award to grantmakers began at $5 million instead of $1 million; this revised amount may encourage smaller and community foundations to apply.
We see the Fund as an opportunity for our members to highlight noteworthy projects or areas of interest that they have supported and nurtured. The attention given to the institutions who receive the grants will also help to “raise the profile” of their philanthropic work.
The deadline for letters of intent is March 1, 2010, so there is not much time to start the process. You can find out more at the Social Innovation Fund website.
Eight nonprofits that provide food, shelter, legal help, counseling, and cash to New Yorkers struggling through the recession have received $6.1 million in grants from The New York Community Trust. The Trust gave another $1.15 million to six community groups and 37 settlement houses to maintain essential services such as day care, after-school programs for youth, senior activities, adult education, and job workshops. Last February, The Trust made a similar set of grants to help the growing number of people who were hungry and had lost jobs and homes. With an anticipated jobless recovery, deep cuts in the State and City budgets, and the phase-out of federal stimulus money, The Trust’s board and program staff decided that another early infusion of money was needed this year. For more information, including a list of the grantees, please visit The Trust’s website.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Power and Energy Engineering Workforce Collaborative, about 45 percent of the engineers currently employed by the nation’s electric and natural gas utilities will be eligible for retirement over the next five years, creating a need for more than 7,000 engineers industry wide. At the same time, there is a significant decline in the number of students who are choosing to study engineering and related disciplines. National Grid is taking action to address this challenge with its “Engineering Our Future” initiative to inspire youth and attract and develop engineers. National Grid already has invested more than $3 million in this program to target students of all ages and backgrounds to encourage them to study science, technology, engineering, and math. The centerpiece of “Engineering Our Future” is the “Engineering Pipeline,” a six-year development program that creates a recruitment pathway for promising high school students who want to become engineers. About 60 students from across National Grid’s service area in New York and New England may participate in the Pipeline program each summer for development programs, job shadow and mentoring opportunities, and social networking activities. For more information, please visit National Grid’s “Engineering Our Future” website.
Philanthropy New York is saddened to note the passing of Evelyn D. Haas, wife of the late Walter A. Haas, Jr., and a prominent leader who touched the lives of millions of people through her philanthropy and public service. Mrs. Haas died on February 3rd at the age of 92. She led her family foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, to contribute more than $364 million to hundreds of cultural, civic, and social service organizations. For more information about Mrs. Hass, her life, and her achievements, please visit the Fund’s website.
(View a full text, PDF version of Philanthropy New York Currents, February 2010.)