Partnering With Other Major Grantmakers to Support the Launch of Scaling What Works

Scaling What Works seeks to build a movement of grantmakers thinking broadly about how to fund and support nonprofits in ways that allow them to have more impact.

Dates of Project:  March 2010 through December 2012

Field of Work: Scaling up innovative community-based programs

Problem Synopsis:  Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), a Washington-based coalition of more than 400 grantmaking organizations, aimed to build a movement of grantmakers committed to scaling up effective nonprofits and their work. More than just replicating programs, scaling can also entail transferring ideas, adopting new technologies, and changing policies.

Synopsis of the Work:  GEO created Scaling What Works to promote participation in the federal Social Innovation Fund. The fund pools public and private resources to expand effective community-based work on economic and educational challenges and health disparities. Scaling What Works also sought to increase the number of grantmakers collaborating to expand the impact of high-performing nonprofits.

Key Results

Scaling What Works staff:

  • Hosted teleconferences, workshops, and webinars to promote grantmaker participation in the Social Innovation Fund, foster collaboration among grantmakers, and build their ability to increase the impact of effective nonprofits
  • Produced publications on scaling up the work of innovative nonprofits with strong results
  • Launched a website with information on the Social Innovation Fund and other resources.

BTW informing change, in Berkeley, Calif., reported that Scaling What Works has contributed to a more engaged community of Social Innovation Fund intermediaries, and provided support in a way that the federal government could not.

“We have been trying to push a field wide conversation to expand the way people talk about scale.”—Kathleen P. Enright, GEO president and CEO