Innovation Fund

The Alliance for Global Good’s Innovation Fund:

  • Aims to increase nonprofit sustainability by providing venture philanthropy to implement innovations in mission-relevant revenue generating activity.
  • Targets (generally) medium-sized, US-based nonprofits, working on solving global problems (see specific eligibility criteria below)
  • Grants are for implementation, not exploration–the Fund provides grants for late stage financing to move best-in-class plans into operation.

Four Organizations were selected to receive grants in our Inaugural Round of Funding.  We’ve received reports of their work thru the second quarter of this grant cycle. 

An additional four organizations were selected as Round 2 grantees from the Fund.

Eligibility Criteria

An eligible organization has identified a clear strategy for mission-relevant, revenue generating activity and conducted enough of the needed preliminaries (e.g., studies, technical assistance, market analysis, etc.) to have in place a mature strategy for execution, all as reflected in a solid business plan, so that Innovation Fund resources will be used for implementation.  An eligible organization also:

  • is a 501(c)3 organization in the United States (including so called “friends of” and US fiscal agents for non-U.S. NGOs);
  • is engaged in in areas of health, education, environment, poverty and/or world relations outside the United States;
  • can demonstrate in quantitative terms the concrete impact it has made in addressing the problems it  targets;
  • can demonstrate organizational stability using information that might include but is not limited to: a) years of operation; b) relatively stable revenue; c) testimonial(s), e.g., from recurring donor(s); and/or d) cumulative impact;
  •  has had total revenue over the past five years that:
    •        averaged below $20,000,000, and above $5,000,000 per year, and
    •        derived in a significant part from at least one type of traditional funding (e.g., charitable giving, government support, investment income); and
  • has quality systems of governance and financial accountability.

Selection is a two part process:

  • First, an open competition RFP seeking proposals detailing the types of mission-­‐consistent, revenue generating activity intended, together with robust supporting documentation of the business related merits of the proposal.  AFGG’s Board of Advisors will review the proposals,  and select the most promising applicants.   
  • Top prospects will present an in-­‐person pitch to IF managers focusing on the business aspects of the proposal. The presenting team must include at least the prospect’s ED (or President), its CFO, and a board leader.    
  • Donor Partners of the Innovation Fund will have the option to participate in the pitch assessment committee. 

Some History: The Fund was first announced at the Inaugural Bipartisan Conference on Innovation in Giving & Philanthropy produced by the Alliance in November, 2011, at the Library of Congress.   Subsequently, under the principal direction of Dr. Susan Raymond ( Executive Vice President of Changing Our World World and Founding Director of the Innovation Fund) with Alliance advisor, Rodney W. Nichols (former Executive Vice President, Rockefeller University and President and CEO of the New York Academy of Science), the Fund’s focus has been sharpened.

In developing the Innovation Fund, AFGG interviewed 10 presidents of leading global nonprofits (none of which will be eligible for an award).  All of the interviewees endorsed this new concept, because the non-profit need is great and the availability of such capital is scarce.  Similarly, market research found nothing with similar structure.  Although untested, the Innovation Fund has tremendous potential.

Check out AFGG Blog Posts re the Innovation Fund


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Proud to announce our newest partner


Leonard Kaplan’s creation of the Alliance for Global Good was the expression of his passionate philanthropy.  It’s also the logical outgrowth of all that came before it.  Together with his wife and philanthropic partner Tobee, and through a family foundation later renamed TOLEO, they gave unselfishly of resources and time to improve their community and the world for more than twenty-five years.

Tobee & Leonard Kaplan

Tobee & Leonard Kaplan

The Alliance’s focus on five areas of giving—health, education, environment, poverty, and world relations—is mirrored in Leonard’s past.  He has made major gifts to Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Comprehensive Cancer and Heart Centers, to the Lineberger Cancer Center at UNC Chapel Hill, to the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Moses Cone Hospital, and had a leadership position at the Greensboro Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.  In 2004, Leonard and Tobee built the new building for the Women’s Resource Center in Greensboro. He created scholarships for residents of Guilford County to attend North Carolina colleges and universities, and was a founding donor of Elon University Law School.  Critically, in partnership with the Kellogg Foundation, Leonard helped create the Center for Organizational Leadership, a philanthropic studies program (which was one of first nationally to educate non-profit executives).

“Everyone wants to leave something to their grandchildren.”

“The money won’t matter if the world they live in is so far gone,” Kaplan says. “The opportunity now is to take some of what might become their inheritance, and use it soon to make the world a better place.”

Addressing poverty, Leonard made possible the building of two houses for Habitat for Humanity, and by providing food for hungry people both close to home in Greensboro, and as far abroad as the former Soviet Union.   The Kaplans were staunch supporters of Trickle Up, which provides grant financing to women in the developing world who want to start their own microenterprise.

Leonard gave not only of his wealth, but also of his time and expertise, taking on leadership positions in many organizations and campaigns such as the Greater Greensboro United Way DeToqueville Society, and as a Core Member of ACTION Greensboro, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public education, revitalization of downtown Greensboro, and leveraging economic development.

Active in their community of faith, the Kaplans built a new building for the Greensboro Jewish Federation, and for the Hillel youth organization at U.N.C., Chapel Hill.  He served on the board of the Jewish Foundation of Greensboro, and on that of the national Hillel organization, and was a founder of Camp Ramah Darom.

Viewing giving as a responsibility of affluence, Leonard led by example, and encouraged others to do the same.  He created Wealth & Giving, an educational program designed to inspire the largest wealth holders in this country to be more generous.  The Alliance continues that work by promoting and providing donors with opportunities for effective and efficient giving.

Read more about the Five Guiding Principles.