Friday, December 21, 2007

Does Size Matter? More Ideas about Efficiency

The goal of a new fund is to make successful charities self-sustaining, using large infusions of money to improve efficiency.  The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation has operated for over 30 years, making grants to help people living in poverty.  In recent years the Foundation has focused on programs that aid low-income youth.  Now the Foundation is undertaking a pilot project, the Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot, to help some of its most successful grantees "achieve their growth potential and become financially sustainable."  Stephanie Strom reports today in the NYT that the fund has received contributions from other foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The idea of pooling money to make significantly large grants is new and could have quite an impact.

One of the first charities to benefit from the new fund, the Nurse-Family Partnership, will receive $50 million to enable it to grow from 96 sites serving 13,000 families to 950 sites serving 100,000 families by 2017.  The money will enable the charity to focus on attracting public funding.  The goals is to increase financing through fees paid for services.  The charity will make progress report to the Foundation, and the Foundation will keep other donors advised of the charity's progress.


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