New National Community of Philanthropic Funders, Practitioners to Promote Expansion of Effective Social Programs
The Exchange has three primary goals:
• Developing and sharing knowledge on practices for expanding programs that work.
• Providing venues to collaboratively fund expansion of successful initiatives.
• Helping build a field infrastructure for more efficient and effective scaling.
The Exchange will develop and share practical knowledge by making available an up-to-date library of relevant publications on a Web platform that will feature articles, tools, template business plans, real-time case studies, due diligence reports and academic research. Training will be offered at an annual conference, regional meetings and online.
The Exchange will facilitate collaborative investment in scaling by making available high-impact, well-vetted opportunities through an online clearinghouse and through an investment fair and the final round of a Social Impact Business Plan Competition, both scheduled to take place at the first annual conference in New York next June.
Finally, The Exchange will help build field infrastructure for growing effective programs by providing opportunities for members to jointly develop investment standards and processes, create more efficient methods to connect growth initiatives with donors, support intermediaries and forge effective public-private partnerships, and form funder groups focused on growth in different fields such as youth development, health and poverty alleviation.
"Shared knowledge and tools, as well as the benefits of being part of a network, should allow individuals and organizations to scale their impact more effectively and rapidly,” Dees said.
In announcing the launch of The Exchange, GPN said it will release a report based on its five years of investigation that finds the failure of top-performing programs to grow nationally represents a “huge missed opportunity to affect social change on a mass scale,” and that a well-organized, transparent and enduring system (a marketplace) can substantially enhance the way philanthropic capital is raised to support such scaling.
S. Robert Levine, M.D., chairman and co-founder of GPN, said The Exchange was designed in response to the report’s findings that show a national marketplace “is needed to fund large-scale expansions of top-performing programs and that for the marketplace to thrive six key elements must work in concert." They include:
1. Investment standards, transparent information and performance reporting.
2. A collaborative financing process that includes individuals, foundations, grants and debt.
3. Sufficient “deal flow,” a pool of high-impact nonprofits to demonstrate how a marketplace works.
4. Large-scale distribution to donors and a broad diversified national network of growth funders.
5. A network of expert intermediaries that aggregate growth capital for qualified scaling initiatives.
6. A focal point for shared learning, knowledge development and collective funding of high-impact growth initiatives.