Geri Stengel

 
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What’s the secret to scaling social impact? You tell me.

Is collaboration the secret ingredient to solving America’s social problems? If we’re going to create and grow a capital marketplace, one that scales proven models, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

scaling social impact, SIEX, social capital, Social Impact Exchange 11I’m delighted to report that progress is being made on creating such a marketplace. This week, I participated in the working group that has been organized by the Social Impact Exchange (SIEX)  to build that collaboration and share knowledge.

SIEX is a national membership association with 2,700 members that is building a growth capital marketplace. It was established by Growth Philanthropy Network, in partnership with Duke University’s Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (CSPCS) and its Center for the Advancement of Social Enterpreneurs (CASE). Funding is provided by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Rockefellar Foundation.

An impressive group from academia, foundations, nonprofits, and consulting firms met Tuesday to develop strategies for such a marketplace. Subcommittees will tackle the nitty-gritty specifics of:

  • aggregating and organizing the information;
  • identifying knowledge gaps;
  • identifying research projects;
  • encouraging academia and consulting firms to undertaken research.

A wealth of information already exists in the knowledge center on socialimpactexchange.org, but more will be added and organized by level of knowledge, issue (education, youth development, health, poverty alleviation, and impact investing), type of user (philanthropist/investor, nonprofit, etc.).

But we need your help! What do you think? How can we get more money from a greater variety of sources to scale successful nonprofits? Think outside the box, send the results to me, and I’ll pass them on to the committee.

To stimulate your thinking, check out the discussions from last year’s first Social Impact Exchange Conference on Taking Successful Innovation to Scale, held last year.

Progress from this working group will be reported at the upcoming SIEX conference on June 15-16.

What are your ideas about scaling? What has helped or hindered your organization’s efforts to scale?