REDF Receives Additional $3 Million Federal Social Innovation Fund Grant


Funding to Support Continued Expansion of REDF’s Job-Creating Social Enterprise Model

San Francisco, CA, August 4, 2011 – REDF, a California-based venture philanthropy organization dedicated to transforming lives by creating economic opportunity through social enterprise, today announced it has been awarded $3 million in continuation funding by the Corporation for National and Community Service under its Social Innovation Fund (SIF), bringing REDF’s total multi-year award amount to $6 million which will leverage more than $6 million in additional private philanthropic contributions.

Since 1997, REDF has helped more than 5,700 people in the San Francisco Bay Area move into the workforce by investing in social enterprises – nonprofit-run businesses that create jobs and employ individuals who are overcoming chronic poverty, homelessness, criminal history, substance abuse or mental illness. The approach REDF has pioneered is more sustainable than others that are 100% government or foundation-funded, because it generates ongoing revenue for the nonprofit-run businesses; and delivers a “social return” as taxpayers are relieved of costs associated with cycles of homelessness and incarceration.

“Given the continued sky-high national unemployment figures, REDF’s effort to expand businesses and create jobs is clearly more urgent than ever,” said Carla Javits, REDF President. “In light of government budget cuts, this federal grant renewal is an important affirmation of our efforts, and those of the nonprofits we work with to create wage-paying jobs for people who want to work. It also signals support for people who take the opportunity to work as a chance to dramatically change their lives. With multiple years of funding, and the additional support that will leverage, we will create jobs that put thousands of people to work, and a model that can be replicated nationally.”

SIF is an innovative partnership between government and the philanthropic community that leverages a 3:1 private-public match for every government dollar invested. In July of last year, REDF became the only California-based organization, and one of eleven national recipients to receive an inaugural SIF grant. With the initial two-year SIF grant of $3 million, REDF selected six nonprofit organizations in northern and southern California for inclusion in its newly created portfolio of subgrantees. REDF selected these organizations based on their exceptional track record, and commitment to job creation through social enterprise. The SIF grant also supports the design of an evaluation of the impact of the social enterprise model on employment and wages, and the “social return on investment” generated.

The new $3 million award, paired with matching support from REDF‘s Board of Directors and growing philanthropic contributions from foundations, corporations, and individual donors, will enable REDF to replicate and expand the transformative practice of nonprofit social enterprise throughout California while laying the groundwork to take this work to scale nationally.

“This second installment of SIF funding is a testimony to the wonderful work of our six subgrantees in building businesses designed to employ the hardest-to-serve populations,” says Esther Kim, REDF Portfolio Director. “With REDF’s intensive technical assistance, our subgrantees have hired key social enterprise staff with experience in the for-profit sector, carefully planned out the right market, customers, equipment, and marketing strategy, and secured the space for their social enterprise facilities.”

One of the newest additions to the REDF portfolio is Urban Strategies. Their social enterprise Green Streets is a community owned and operated business that provides recycling and composting services to neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the past several months, REDF has worked in close partnership with Green Streets to provide planning, operational support and funding to assist the organization to expand and develop a business model that can be exported to other communities. To watch a brief documentary on Green Streets, visit

REDF’s current portfolio of nonprofit organizations includes Buckelew Programs based in Marin, Chrysalis and the Weingart Center Association in Los Angeles, Community Housing Partnership in San Francisco, and the Center for Employment Opportunities and Urban Strategies/Green Streets which will operate in multiple California jurisdictions. To learn more about REDF’s current portfolio visit

About REDF
REDF is a California-based venture philanthropy organization dedicated to transforming lives through the creation of jobs and economic opportunity. REDF provides funding and business assistance to a carefully selected portfolio of nonprofit enterprises that employ young people disconnected from school and work, and adults who are overcoming chronic poverty, homelessness, criminal history, substance abuse or mental illness. Since 1997, REDF has partnered with 24 nonprofit organizations that have pioneered the creation of over 50 social enterprises, helping them expand their businesses, achieve sustainable success, and measure the positive impact of their work on people and communities. REDF has helped employ more than 5,700 people in the San Francisco Bay Area and is supported by the generous contributions of individuals, corporations, and foundations. For more information and to learn about REDF’s portfolio or nonprofit partner organizations, visit

About the Social Innovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service that improves the lives of people in low-income U.S. communities. Through an innovative public-private partnership, the Social Innovation Fund and selected local and national grantmakers co-invest in programs that increase the scale of community-based solutions that have evidence of real impact in the areas of youth development, economic opportunity or healthy futures. Every Federal dollar invested is matched with private funds, and all programs are rigorously evaluated. As a result, the most effective approaches can be expanded to reach more people in need and key lessons can be captured and broadly shared.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Jill Kai

# # #