New National Community of Philanthropic Funders, Practitioners to Promote Expansion of Effective Social Programs
October 22, 2009 — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Growth Philanthropy Network and Duke University on Tuesday announced the creation of a first-of-its kind collaboration of philanthropic funders, practitioners, researchers and others designed to make it easier for top-performing social programs to expand widely to communities that need them.??
The Social Impact Exchange (The Exchange)—a cross-sector, member-driven group that will act as a focal point for studying, funding and implementing large expansions of proven social purpose organizations—will also hold a yearly competition to identify programs with the highest impact and readiness to grow, and support them with financial and consulting awards, the strategic partners said.??
“There is a growing sense of urgency in the social sector around the need to make progress on scale. The Exchange gives our sector a chance to learn together and develop the knowledge to effectively engage in nurturing and spreading our most effective social programs and solutions,” said Jane Isaacs Lowe, the Foundation’s team director for its work focused on helping vulnerable populations. “We hope that other foundations and funders will join us in this potentially transformative endeavor.”
??The Exchange will serve as a gathering place for knowledge-building and a platform for deal-making for those interested in scaling effective social solutions. The collaborative effort begins with 150 members who work across the spectrum of philanthropic activity.
??“Duke’s partnership with Growth Philanthropy Network to develop The Exchange is timely and significant,” said Joel L. Fleishman, professor of law and public policy and a leading expert in philanthropy and social policy. “By developing and disseminating knowledge on scaling-up and social enterprise we will fulfill our traditional role as an academic institution. By building, with The Exchange, a network of solution-finding, entrepreneurial organizations, we help turn that knowledge into action."??
“That action will stimulate even more projects and financial capital. It will greatly contribute to positive social change,” Fleishman said.??