The Social Impact Exchange: Creating a Growth Capital Marketplace to Scale Effective Social Programs and Solutions

A Progress Report

Field of Work: Scaling Social Programs

Problem Synopsis: Most high-performing nonprofit agencies have great difficulty operating at a scale that will allow them to have optimum impact. More needs to be done to aggregate funding sources to support the significant expansion of organizations with a proven track record of addressing challenging social problems.

Synopsis of the Work: The Social Impact Exchange is a cross-sector membership organization that uses private sector models of investment to identify good ideas and harness funds to increase their impact.

To achieve this goal, the exchange sponsors an annual business plan competition, an investment fair, working groups of donors and others, an online contribution center through which donors can contribute to well-vetted programs, and an annual conference. Two centers at Duke University have been key partners in establishing the Social Impact Exchange.

Key Results: The Social Impact Exchange is a new venture. Early markers of progress include the level of interest in the exchange’s strategy and participation in its events. Its conferences have been sell-out events and some 3,688 investors, social venture capitalists, foundation staff members, government representatives, nonprofit directors and others are members.

A web platform allows interested donors to review business plans and other information about well-vetted programs, and make donations online. Schwab Charitable and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney are working with the Exchange to provide their high net worth clients with direct links to the Contribution Center.

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