November 1, 2012

How Is Investing in "What Works" Working?

Early feedback from nonprofits participating in the Social Innovation Fund suggests that while many funders are on board with the "what works" movement, state and local governments are not yet fully tuned in.

By: Jeff Bradach , Daniel Stid , Jolie Glaser , Stephanie Sud

In 2009, President Obama initiated a new approach to funding nonprofits with proven track records, bringing the “what works” movement into the national spotlight. Three years later, what progress has this movement made? For answers, The Bridgespan Group surveyed 197 nonprofits that have received grants from the federal Social Innovation Fund. What we found, which is detailed in the report "How Is Investing in 'What Works' Working? Early Feedback from Nonprofits Participating in the Social Innovation Fund," is that evidence of effectiveness does help nonprofits secure additional philanthropic funding, but that state and local governments are not yet fully tuned in to embracing the “what works” movement.


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