LISC Taps 47 Nonprofits for Social Innovation Fund Grants to Expand Financial Opportunity Centers in 10 Metro Areas

Dec 16, 2010, 12:58 ET from Local Initiatives Support Corporation

NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has announced grants to 47 community organizations as part of its federal Social Innovation Fund award to establish and expand Financial Opportunity Centers in 10 metropolitan areas.  The grants are expected to help more than 25,000 families find jobs, reduce inappropriate debt, gain financial literacy and build assets.  

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the new Social Innovation Fund, awarded LISC $4.2 million to help low-income residents secure their financial future.  LISC is matching that with private funds, and recently conducted an RFP process to identify community-based partners with the capacity to implement the program. That includes local nonprofits in Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Duluth, Houston, Indianapolis, Providence/Woonsocket, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego and the Twin Cities.  

LISC's SIF grants—which average $144,000 and range from $380,000 to $100,000—will be used to support staffing and training for the financial counselors who operate the program.

"Thanks to the Social Innovation Fund, more struggling families will have the chance to stabilize their financial outlook and create their own opportunities for growth," commented Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO.  "Financial Opportunity Centers have taken the blueprint for long-term financial planning that is common among more affluent individuals and tailored it to the specific needs of low- and moderate-income families," he said.  

The Social Innovation Fund, authorized under the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, is an innovative new federal program that addresses major challenges confronting communities by growing high-impact nonprofit organizations delivering proven solutions. It targets millions in public-private funds to expand effective community solutions across three issue areas: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development and school support. This work will directly impact thousands of low-income families and create a catalog of proven approaches that can be replicated in communities across the country. For more information on the Social Innovation Fund, visit

Financial Opportunity Centers are part of LISC's comprehensive Building Sustainable Communities initiative to help low-income residents transform their distressed neighborhoods into places of choice and opportunity.  The Centers are created through local collaborations with community-based nonprofits.  They bundle employment training/placement, financial literacy and public benefits support to help disadvantaged families improve their quality of life and plan for the future.

"The implications of that are significant, both for the families who have the chance to raise their standards of living and for the communities in which they live," Rubinger noted.  "Local businesses, neighborhood schools, community safety, housing stability and a whole range of other institutions and issues all benefit from a more economically secure base of residents who are hopeful about their future."

LISC currently supports 33 Financial Opportunity Centers in low-income communities across the country.  LISC's 47 SIF grantees include:


Association House

The Cara Program

Central States SER

Greater Southwest Development Corporation

Humboldt Park Social Services

Instituto del Progreso Latino

Jane Addams Hull House

Jane Addams Resource Corporation

North Lawndale Employment Network

Safer Foundation

Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky

Brighton Center

Cincinnati Works

Santa Maria Community Services

Urban League of Greater Cincinnati

Detroit Metro

Focus: HOPE

Lighthouse of Oakland County

Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency

Operation ABLE of Michigan

SER Metro-Detroit Jobs for Progress

Southwest Housing Solutions


Community Action Duluth


Alliance for Multicultural Community Services

SER Jobs for Progress-Texas Gulf Coast

United Way of Greater Houston-Bay Area Service Center

Volunteers of America, Texas


Flanner House of Indianapolis

Hawthorne Community Center

John H. Boner Community Center

Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center

Shepherd Community, Inc.

Southeast Community Services

Minneapolis/St. Paul

CommonBond Communities Career Advantage Services

Communidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio

Emerge Community Development

Lutheran Social Services

Project for Pride in Living

Rhode Island

Amos House

Dorcas Place Adult and Family Learning Center

Family Resources Community Action

Providence Housing Authority

San Diego

Home Start, Inc.

International Rescue Committee

North County Life Line

San Diego Housing Commission

San Francisco Bay Area

Merritt Community College

Rubicon Programs

Sacred Heart Community Service

For details about each grantee's program, please visit

About LISC

LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $9.7 billion to build or rehab more than 271,000 affordable homes and develop 40 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged $31.1 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit


Kevin Jordan, Director/LISC Family Income and Asset Building

202-739-9282 or

Colleen Mulcahy, Communications

312-342-8244 or

SOURCE Local Initiatives Support Corporation