November 20, 2012 Press Releases

Social Sector Innovation Funds Help Governments Make Smarter Investments

New Report Outlines Lessons Learned and Makes Recommendations for the Future

Washington, D.C. — As leaders at all levels of government face mounting budgetary challenges, the Center for American Progress and Results for America, an initiative of America Achieves, released a report today exploring how social sector innovation funds use data and evidence to help the federal government get greater impact with limited public dollars.  The study presents lessons learned from an in-depth look at federal innovation funds that focus on developing and scaling promising community-based approaches that solve critical social problems. The report also outlines key policy recommendations that will help the federal government invest in what works.

“To address the enormous challenges facing young people and their families, we need to be sure that government dollars are invested more wisely and get dramatically better results.    As our report shows, evidence-based innovation funds are an important tool to help leaders at all levels of government find and invest in results-oriented solutions that will improve the lives of young people and their families,” said Michele Jolin, co-author of the report, managing partner at America Achieves and leader of the organization’s Results for America initiative.

Over the next decade America will face enormous social and economic shifts. Our nation will have less money for services while at the same time there will be greater demand from a larger, older, and more diverse population than ever before. Young people will be especially vulnerable in the face of these challenges. To significantly improve outcomes for young people and their families in the context of this constrained fiscal environment, we must focus on improving the ways in which taxpayer dollars are spent. The federal government must identify and invest in “what works” to be a catalyst for and investor in effective and innovative solutions that produce greater social impact in the key arenas that will determine our country’s future competitiveness—education, economic opportunity, workforce development, and youth development.


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