Nonprofit Newswire | Social Innovation Fund and Cozy Relationships

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April 7, 2010; Chronicle of Philanthropy | In the wake of Nonprofit Quarterly’s interview with the incoming head of the Social Innovation Fund, Paul Carttar, we found several other journals covering various issues related to his appointment.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy noted that among the 200 groups that have indicated they intend to apply to be designated as SIF regrantmaking intermediaries is Carttar’s recent employer, New Profit. Although Carttar will recuse himself from any discussions involving New Profit, it still poses some difficulties for the staff of the Corporation for National and Community Service who will be involved in making SIF decisions.

Unrelated to Carttar’s appointment is the fact that New Profit, founded by Public Allies founder Vanessa Kirsch, created an advocacy coalition, America Forward, which took a very active role during the 2008 presidential campaign promoting a proposal that was the essence of the Social Innovation Fund. Candidate Obama and his running mate Joe Biden made it part of their agenda for the nonprofit sector.

We hope, based on Carttar’s interview statements with the Quarterly, that the Social Innovation Fund is able to reach well beyond the nested, overlapping organizations such as New Profit, Bain, and Bridgespan to fund organizations that are effective and innovative but not already part of or tied to this family of organizations. If it does not, it will make the whole effort a far too obvious joke.—Ruth McCambridge

This Newswire published on April 9th incorrectly stated that three Bain & Company partners serve on the board of New Profit. The partners serving on New Profit’s board are affiliated with Bain Capital, a global private investment firm and not Bain & Company, the global business consulting firm.