Mrs. Obama Announces New Fund to Aid Nonprofits

Mrs. Obama Announces New Fund to Aid Nonprofits

by Rachel L. Swarns 

The first lady, Michelle Obama, ventured publicly into the policy realm on Tuesday, announcing that the Obama administration planned to create a $50 million “social innovation fund” to help finance and expand promising nonprofit agencies. The fund would offer financial support to nonprofit and community groups that focus on education, health care and economic mobility, among other issues, officials say.

The administration plans to encourage foundations, philanthropists and corporations to help raise additional money for the program.

“The idea of the fund is simple: find the most effective programs out there and then provide the capital needed to replicate their success in communities around the country,” Mrs. Obama said Tuesday in New York City, where she was honored at Time magazine’s gala for its “100 Most Influential People.”

“By focusing on high-impact, results-oriented nonprofits, we will ensure that government dollars are spent in a way that is effective, accountable and worthy of the public trust,” she said.

It was a striking departure for the first lady, who has carefully highlighted her domestic persona during her first months in the White House, emphasizing her focus on motherhood, getting her family settled in the White House, health and nutrition and inspiring young people.

But Mrs. Obama, a Harvard-trained lawyer and former hospital executive, remains passionately committed to public policy. And she has focused her attention on increasing volunteerism through the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which was enacted last month.

Read the rest of the article from the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/us/politics/06michelle.html?_r=3&ref=global-home

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