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A Fellowship Approach to Accelerating Social Entrepreneurs

June 29, 2016

When Echoing Green, a nonprofit focused on unleashing next-generation talent, was founded in 1987, the term "social entrepreneur" was not widely used. Emerging leaders who wanted to change the world had limited options to access capital and programmatic support aside from its Fellowship program. Forty million dollars in seed-stage funding and strategic assistance to nearly 700 entrepreneurs later, Echoing Green has witnessed social entrepreneurship become a global movement.In recent years, Echoing Green has recognized two field-level trends within its Fellow community. First, for-profit business models to effect social and environmental change and impact investing (investments made to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return) have increased in popularity. At the same time, the business accelerator landscape has grown, and many entrepreneurs are participating in multiple programs. Globally, a plethora of accelerator programs are now employing a variety of services and funding models to launch start-ups.Echoing Green also began accepting more entrepreneurs using for-profit business models into its Fellowship and deepening its engagement with its Fellow alumni community. In 2014, it piloted an impact investing "inflection cohort" of Fellow alumni running for-profit and hybrid social enterprises. Its goal was to fill gaps in support and funding through the Fellows' common critical inflection moment: transitioning from early-stage funding to raising more sophisticated institutional growth capital.In this white paper, Echoing Green describes this impact investing inflection cohort pilot and shares the social entrepreneurs' data to shed light on how and if the inflection cohort model succeeded in enabling the early-stage social entrepreneurs to grow, attract investment, and deliver impact.

Giving Black in Los Angeles: Donor Profiles and Opportunities for the Future

November 20, 2012

Historically, African Americans have had a rich tradition of giving, but have seen themselves as givers not philanthropists, and have been perceived by others primarily as recipients of philanthropic dollars. With the financial successes of many African Americans over the last half century, that perception must change. With financial success comes greater interest, consideration and sophistication in the philanthropic efforts by African Americans.The report was authored by Professor Ange-Marie Hancock, Associate Professor of Political Science and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California and funded by The California Endowment, Tides and Rockefeller Philanthropy Associates. Based on focus groups and survey data from African American donors in Los Angeles there are some surprising findings. The three donor profiles that emerged from this study are:The "Building the Black Community" Donor. Donors more concerned that their dollars go to organizations that target African American recipients than other respondents.The "Issue Impact" Donor. Donors more concerned with the issues they care about than the identity of the people affected by the issues.The "Hardwired To Give" Donor. Donors that embrace giving as part of their personal identity, but are also identifiable by their public as well as their private behavior.Their findings represent just the beginning of intensifying interest within the African American community about its philanthropic assets and power, and how to deploy them. The study also provides four opportunities for building black philanthropy, and examines where African Americans make charitable gifts and dispels the myth that African Americans give only, or even primarily, to the church.

The Giving Commitment: Knowing Your Motivation

November 18, 2011

Offers an overview of reasons for engaging in philanthropy with an eye to helping donors become more focused, strategic, and more effective in their giving.

Proxy Preview '09: Helping Foundations Align Investment and Mission

March 31, 2009

This report aims to help foundations navigate shareholder proposals related to social and governance issues, as a way of identifying the proposals that are relevant to their missions and grantmaking agendas.

Criminal Justice Primer 2009: Policy Priorities for the 111th Congress

February 19, 2009

Outlines recommendations for criminal and juvenile justice policy, including reforming sentencing laws, analyzing racial/ethnic disparities, reducing youth gang involvement, and supporting efforts to assist former prisoners' reentry and reduce recidivism.

Disparity by Geography: The War on Drugs in America's Cities

May 1, 2008

Analyzes drug arrest patterns in cities between 1980 and 2003; the impact on the African-American community; and the consequences, for racial inequality, of taking a law enforcement -- not a public health -- approach to the war on drugs.

Blueprint for Gulf Renewal: The Katrina Crisis and a Community Agenda for Action

August 1, 2007

Looks at statistical indicators and draws on interviews with Gulf Coast leaders to identify roadblocks to recovery and ways federal leaders can tackle critical needs in the region like housing, jobs, and coastal protection.

Unlocking the Power of the Proxy: How Active Foundation Proxy Voting Can Protect Endowments and Boost Philanthropic Mission

February 28, 2004

Outlines how active proxy voting on corporate governance or social issues can strengthen a foundation's charitable mission and long-term shareholder value. Offers a step-by-step guide to developing and implementing proxy voting guidelines, with examples.