Obama Pledges Support for Social Innovation, Encourages Public-Private Partnerships

President Barack Obama has pledged that his administration will do its part to support grassroots organizations that are successful in their efforts to improve communities, the Associated Press reports.

While announcing the launch of the Community Solutions Agenda at a White House gathering on Tuesday, Obama issued a challenge to government, business, foundations, and average citizens to come together to identify and invest in promising solutions to the nation's toughest problems. The effort, which includes the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and a $50 million Innovation Fund, is designed to help scale effective nonprofit innovations and foster promising new ideas in education, health care, energy, the economy, and other areas.

To that end, the Innovation Fund will work to leverage investments totaling $1 billion over five years in support of high-impact social sector innovations. Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the fund will provide grants to existing grantmaking institutions that in turn support innovative, results-driven nonprofits. Grantmaking institutions and their nonprofit grantees will be asked to match the fund's investments.

"Solutions to America's challenges are being developed every day at the grassroots," Obama said during the White House gathering. "Government shouldn't be supplanting those efforts. It should be supporting those efforts."

"President Announces Community Solutions Agenda." America Forward Press Release 06/30/2009.