Blogs tagged with Sustainability at scale

  • Paul Carttar, The Bridgespan Group
    Posted: July 2, 2014

    This blog is reposted with permission from Bridgespan.org. The author, Paul Carttar, moderated a panel at this year's Social Impact Exchange conference. 

    Remarkably, the scaling of high-performing nonprofit organizations seems to have taken on a certain glamor. In our sector, we are typically eager to talk about such exciting topics as the design of promising interventions, the development of sophisticated organizational capacities, and, perhaps most alluring of all, the raising of growth capital from "investors" to fuel a program or organization's expansion or replication.

    Yet there is a sobering reality, an "unsexy" side to scaling that we too frequently avoid: with each upward ratchet in size, as a nonprofit expands facilities and hires more employees, it also increases the amount of money it must raise each year simply to maintain its operations. And if it can't do this, it can no longer build scale.

    Accordingly, I was pleased to see the recent Social Impact Exchange Conference on Scaling Impact devote a significant chunk of time to the need to develop revenue models that enable growing nonprofits to thrive at each level of size attained. At the conference, I had the privilege of facilitating a plenary session on "Financial Sustainability at Scale" with several experts, who together provided foundational answers to four of the biggest questions on the subject:

  • Social Impact Exchange staff
    Posted: January 22, 2014

    Last month, eight nonprofit investment opportunities “went out to market” for distribution to a broad funder audience as part of the launch of the Social Impact Exchange’s Scaling Marketplace. The marketplace provides a much-needed new infrastructure for aggregating capital from hundreds of co-funders to finance the scaling of dozens of effective initiatives on an annual basis. It enables funders across the country to join forces and connect easily with one another, and to evidence-based, game-changing nonprofits with the potential to have a major impact in health and education.

    The Exchange’s Funder Working Groups serve as anchors for the Scaling Marketplace and play a key role in nominating nonprofit organizations for review, and then participating alongside Exchange staff in a multi-layered due diligence process on those nominees. Their due diligence focuses on concrete evidence of impact, scalability and financial sustainability, based on evaluation studies and a growth business plan.