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Social Innovation Fund Information Session. November 12, 2012. Introductions. Meghan Barp, GTCUW Michael Goar, Twin Cities Strive Elise Wiener, GTCUW Michael Michlin, University of MN Dr. Dan Mueller, Wilder Research Lorinda Chagnon, GTCUW Michael Graif, GTCUW.

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Social Innovation Fund Information Session

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Presentation Transcript
  • Meghan Barp, GTCUW
  • Michael Goar, Twin Cities Strive
  • Elise Wiener, GTCUW
  • Michael Michlin, University of MN
  • Dr. Dan Mueller, Wilder Research
  • Lorinda Chagnon, GTCUW
  • Michael Graif, GTCUW
vision mission
Vision & Mission


Children of all socio-economic backgrounds are well prepared for success in the 21st century.


Dramatically accelerate educational achievement of all children from early childhood through early career through an aligned partnership of community stakeholders.


Phase I: The partnership will focus on the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Phase II: After demonstrating success in Phase I communities, expansion to additional communities will be considered.


A Holistic, Systemic Approach



3rd Grade

8th Grade

12th Grade

College - Career

Student & Family Support

preliminary network recommendations timing
Preliminary Network Recommendations & Timing

Community Engagement




Feb/March 2013


May/June 2013



* Additional Development Required

alignment of networks to community level goals
Alignment of Networks to Community Level Goals

* Additional Development Required

the strateg y
The Strategy
  • “Social innovation” is a powerful strategy rooted in our unparalleled tradition of citizen engagement that believes –
  • The best solutions to many major problems come out of communities – not Washington DC
  • Significant social impact can be generated by pro-actively growing the most promisingsolutions to critical problems with evidence of results.
  • The federal government can be a catalyst to foster public-private collaborations and other leveraged strategies to make it happen.
sif goals
SIF Goals

Producing desired outcomes

  • Better economic, education and health outcomes for low-income communities
  • More people served by most effective solutions
  • Stronger intermediaries and nonprofit organizations
  • More, stronger evidence about what works

Generating important knowledge and learning

  • How nonprofits can best increase scale, build evidence base
  • How intermediaries can best support nonprofit organizations

Influencing others to adopt aspects of the SIF model

  • Governments: policies
  • Intermediaries and nonprofit organizations: practices

Theory of Change

  • Grant Program
  • Selection of intermediaries/ nonprofits
  • Growth of capacity & impact
  • Rigorous evaluation







Social Innovation Fund

Grow impact of innovative solutions that work

  • Leverage Strategy
  • Influence federal agencies & nonprofit sector
  • Share knowledge
  • Support targeted initiatives


strive social innovation fund
Strive & Social Innovation Fund

Kindergarten Readiness

3rd Grade Reading

8th Grade


High school Graduation

Postsecondary Credential

Improve Program QUALITY & Increase Child/Youth ACCESS

  • Strive & Social Innovation Fund
  • $5M federal
  • 2012 – 2016
  • Twin Cities
  • Grant Awards

Innovative Model

The SIF model is distinguished by four key features:

Reliance on experienced, knowledgeable grantmaking intermediaries to select and grow high-impact nonprofits

Emphasis on evidence-based decision-making and rigorous evaluationsof program results

Requirement that each federal dollar be matched1:1from private and nonfederal sources by grantees and subgrantees

Commitment to capture, apply and share knowledge gained from the SIF experience








evaluation overview

Evaluation Overview

Dr. Michael Michlin

role of evidence in the sif
Role of Evidence in the SIF

Valid evidence of results is essential to the SIF program:

  • All programs must demonstrate a minimum level of effectiveness to receive funding
  • All intermediaries must commit to evaluating their portfolio in ways that advance existing evidence of program effectiveness
  • Long term success of the SIF will mean proving it has contributed to increasing:
    • the number of nonprofits implementing evidence-based programs
    • the strength of evidence among funded programs
increasing strength of evaluation data
Increasing strength of evaluation data

SIF aims to invest in programs showing strong impact

  • Output: direct product of program activities
  • Outcome: change that is observed as a result of program implementation
  • Impact: change that can be directly attributed to a specific program model or intervention

Preliminary Levels of Evidence

  • Preliminary
  • Must be based on a reasonable hypothesis; based on research findings
  • Your program or a similar program
  • Pre- and post-test that shows change in your outcome of interest
  • No comparison or control group is used

Preliminary Levels of Evidence

  • Example: Your school has used volunteers to support your reading program for a number of years. Those students behind grade level in reading receive additional time with volunteer tutors. Tracking student progress through periodic testing has shown that those kids who spend time with volunteer tutors are making large gains in reading proficiency. The curriculum used by the tutors utilizes best practices based on research findings addressing literacy development. You want to expand this effort so more kids have access to tutors and tutors are well trained.

Moderate Levels of Evidence

  • Moderate
  • Support causal conclusions
  • Studies conducted in limited settings or with limited variation in program participation
  • Methods used limit the ability to attribute resulting changes in outcomes to the intervention
  • Example approaches: regression/discontinuity analysis, propensity score matching, time-series analysis, non-equivalent comparison groups

Moderate Levels of Evidence

  • Example: Your program provides tutoring to students not at grade level in an after school setting. The program is full to capacity, yet additional students qualify. Students in the program and a comparison group of program eligible students not in the program receive pre- and post-testing to determine change in proficiency level before and after the time students were (or would have been) in the program. Differences in pre- and post-testing are compared.

Strong Levels of Evidence

  • Strong
  • Support causal conclusions
  • Randomized control group used
  • Studies conducted in a range of setting with a range of participants (supporting assumptions that scaling the program to a greater level will be successful)

Strong Levels of Evidence

    • Example: A multi-site randomized control trial is conducted with center-based early childhood centers implementing a parent-child engagement intervention. Eligible families are randomly placed into receiving the intervention or receiving early childhood care in the existing care setting. Parents in the intervention group attend additional parent-focused skill development classes. Consistency of delivery of the intervention is tightly monitored and children in both groups are assessed throughout the intervention for changes in developmental precursors to literacy development.
  • precursors of literacy development

Levels of Evidence

  • Upload documents describing all research studies undertaken
  • RFP review process will include evaluation experts
  • Reviewers will use a rubric which takes into account methodology used and quality of the studies completed


Elise Wiener

key characteristics of organizations with highly effective financial management
Key Characteristics of Organizations with Highly Effective Financial Management

Written and followed policies and procedures

Qualified and trained financial staff

Effective communications

Succession planning and cross-training

Self-assessment and continuous improvement

Active, knowledgeable and informed Board and finance committee

efficient accounting system
Efficient Accounting System

Accounting System must be capable of:

Distinguishing between grant vs. non-grant related expenditures

Identifying costs by program year

Identifying costs by budget category

Differentiating between direct and indirect costs (administrative costs)

Accounting for each award/grant separately

basics of omb circulars
Basics of OMB Circulars

Cost Principles

CFR 220 (formerly A-21)

CFR 230 (formerly A-122)

Allowable & Unallowable Costs

Administrative Requirements

CFR 215 (formerly A-110)

Accounting System

Documentation requirements

A-133 requirements

An organization is subject to an A-133 audit it if expends more than $500,000 of Federal funds in its fiscal year.


Budget Considerations

  • Minimum award: $100,000
  • Budget categories
    • All amounts must be explained
    • No subgranting allowed
    • All costs must be allowable under Federal rules and regulations
  • Evaluation component
  • Criminal background checks
    • FBI finger-print based check
    • State criminal history registry check
    • National Sex Offender Public Registry check


Match Requirements

  • Match requirement: 1:1
  • Cash match only
  • Must be new funding or reserves
  • No previously obligated/committed funds
  • No in-kind match allowed

Grants Management

  • Monthly invoicing and financial reporting
  • Reimbursement basis
  • Appropriate supporting documentation required
  • All costs must be allowable under federal rules and regulations (allocable, reasonable, consistently applied and necessary)
  • Time and effort reporting required
  • Separate reporting of expenses against the subgrant share vs the subgrant match share

Online Grant Application Overview Training:December 3, 2012: 9AM-12 PMDecember 4, 2012: 1-4 PMApplications due January 11, 2013 12

  • PowerPoint Overview of the New Grant System
  • Online Instructions for Grant Applicants
  • Service Level Agreement (for technical assistance)
  • SIF materials:
  • Help Desk email:
  • Help Desk phone: 612-340-7534
service level agreement the basics
Service Level Agreement: The Basics
  • Hours of support: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm CST Monday-Friday
  • Priority Level 1: Emergencies and Maintenance
  • Priority Level 2: Urgent Items
  • Priority Level 3: Non-Urgent Items & Requests for New Features
  • Email:
  • Phone: 612-340-7534

Questions about SIF:

Technical/application questions:

SIF Information: