Propel Philanthropy asks funders to build the social impact infrastructure we all need. If you want a well-built house, you need a solid foundation. You also need plumbing, heating, and electricity. Social Impact Infrastructure Organizations (SIIOs) are the indispensable backbone for the philanthropic, nonprofit, and civil society sectors. They are the resource builders, conveners, networks, platforms, trainers, educators, researchers, media outlets, and advocates needed to build the future we all want to see.
Many of us are committed to advancing important, deserving causes. But unless we also build a fully-functioning, well-resourced social impact ecosystem, all our efforts are at risk of being compromised. Given the unprecedented challenges we now face — from systemic inequities to climate change to threats to our democracy — we must work together to propel philanthropy and all sectors from half-throttle to full speed ahead. We must create regenerative resources such as increased generosity, volunteerism, and socially impactful technologies. We must address the polycrisis that affects all of us!
Under favorable conditions, modest grants can fuel extraordinary outcomes. Peter Brach, Founder of Propel Philanthropy, illustrates instances where capacity-building grants produced exceptional returns. There are times where adding just one team member – perhaps even a volunteer coordinator – can dramatically shift the course of an entire organization.
There is often an unseen communication gap between SIIOs serving funders. One unavoidable cause is the service provider/client relationship. As a result, many SIIOs – including those with the wealthiest members – can’t let their needs be known. Propel Philanthropy encourages funders and SIIOs to create space for the kind of honest dialogue that can lessen gaps and build bridges to progress.
We’ve provided examples in seven critical areas where social impact support organizations achieve far-reaching accelerated results, in some cases globally. Examples include 1) Charitable, 2) Development, and 3) Human Capital Accelerators; 4) Donor-Serving Organizations; 5) Field-building Organizations; 6) Social Investment Accelerators; 7) Media Platforms in Philanthropy; and more.
“Successful expansion is based mostly on finding and developing the right human capital."
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
“The best minute is the one you spend on investing in people.”
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