In the past 20 years that I have worked in the nonprofit sector, I have seen dozens of innovations introduced, some of which became lasting breakthroughs, while others were flashes in the pan.
The spirit of curiosity, discourse, and entrepreneurship through which people approach problem solving in America is what makes our country great and what motivates me to stay in this work.
And that is why I recently called Pablo Eisenberg to thank him for asking such good questions about the Social Innovation Fund in The Chronicle (“Why Did Federal Fund Send Money to Wealthy and Lackluster Groups?” Opinion, September 9).
Yes, the effort is new, and yes, there are things to improve moving forward, but I encourage all who are interested to learn about the motivations and structure behind the Social Innovation Fund, and to look at its initial results before making a decision about its value. I hope that as leaders in the nonprofit community we can model a level of discourse that is sadly missing in our nation these days.
Now to some questions that have arisen about New Profit in the context of the Social Innovation Fund.
New Profit made a thoughtful and carefully considered decision to apply for a Social Innovation Fund intermediary grant after seeking much advice and having assurances from the Corporation for National and Community Service that conflicted parties had recused themselves from any role in the process.
In the weeks following suggestions of conflicts of interest in the selection process, documentation has been shared publicly by the Corporation for National and Community Service that supports the fair nature of the selection process used to evaluate our application and others, making it clear that all applications advanced on their merits alone.
As The Chronicle has noted in a correction it made to Mr. Eisenberg’s column, New Profit was not asked to resubmit its application. All applicants in the second Social Innovation Fund intermediary evaluation round were asked to respond to clarifying questions. New Profit was not asked to resubmit or strengthen its application in any way, and our complete and unredacted application to the Social Innovation Fund, along with our responses to the requested clarifying questions, is available on our Web site at http://www.newprofit.com.
We have been a consistent voice for transparency in the Social Innovation Fund process and we were the first to post our application for public review prior to the corporation’s public release of all applications.
It is our hope that the inaugural class of Social Innovation Fund intermediary organizations and their subsequent subgrantees will help to show how the Social Innovation Fund can be a catalyst for changing the lives of millions of children and families across the country.
President and Founder
New Profit Inc.