The Obama Administration announced last year that it would make available $50 million in grants to innovative social service nonprofits. At a gala dinner First Lady Michelle Obama said the government would collaborate with nonprofits and philanthropic foundations in picking the grant recipients. Fifty million dollars is nothing these days, but the award of the first grants has caused a great controversy, including allegations of conflict of interest and stonewalling. An inspector general has announced an audit of the grantmaking process.
Is the Obama administration playing favorites with foundations and charities, asks writer Neil Maghami. This month's Foundation Watch reports on "The Obama Administration's Social Innovation Fund." It explores the questions being asked about how the grantees are selected and whether private foundations should be working with government agencies in deciding which charities should receive public and private funds."