Innovation Fund Round 2 Winners


Reflecting the growing appreciation of the role that  market-related activity has in producing sustainable social impact, the application process for the second round of grants from the Alliance’s Innovation Fund demanded more sophisticated business models and projections.  Most of the applicants–and all of the grantees–more than rose to the occasion.  As with Round 1, the grantees are a markedly diverse group, supporting initiatives from  Latin America to Africa, coming from both secular and faith based origins, and focusing on rural and urban needs.  But all of them see the mission related market activity as a means of providing sustainable revenue.

In alphabetical order, the Round 2 winning applicants and their proposals are:

Freedom from Hunger | Latin America

  • Challenge:  Many Latin American microfinance institutions lack capacity to provide professional development necessary for optimal field agent performance that jeopardizes performance and exposes clients to the risk of over-indebtedness.
  • Solution:  Transform existing training series for field agents into a long distance learning e-platform, thus providing cost-effective and accessible training opportunities that will build field agent capacity and comply with emerging regulatory requirements.

Global Health Ministries | Cameroon

  • Challenge: How to address dramatically reduced funding of missionary hospital so as to continue providing essential services for population.
  • Solution: Increase capacity for providing elective and fee-paying surgery for local population by expanding surgical facilities.

Innovation: Africa | Uganda

  • Challenge:  Provide resources and facilities for off the grid individuals to have electrical power in their lives.
  • Solution:  Create a readily replicable “Rural Energy Center” where individuals can access services including internet access, photocopying and printing, television access, and cellphone charging, and purchase items including solar lanterns, haircuts, water packs, and cold drinks.

Pro Mujer | Bolivia

  • Challenge: Chronic diseases—obesity, high blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, etc.—are a major health burden, particularly for the poor.
  • Solution: Building upon existing financial services infrastructure and resources to deliver health services, implement a new health plan addressing these concerns designed to be client focused, market‑driven, and self‑sustaining.

These winners were selected from among a pool of applicants that responded to the Fund’s second RFP in April, 2013.

Those applications meeting the Fund’s objective requirements were reviewed by an external panel consisting of Paul Holmes, Terra Lawson-Remer, and Glenn Yago, where they were scored based on the innovation the proposal presented—its creativity, the clarity of its goal and role, and the consistency of the innovation with the organization’s mission.

That review narrowed the field to six finalists, all of which made in-person presentations to a second independent group, which included Amy M. Bell, Walter (Skip) Auch, and Michael D. Park.  The finalists’ presentations focused on business elements, such as understanding of markets, business strategy, viability, and management capacity.

Quarter 1 Reports

Quarter 2 Reports

Check out AFGG Blog Posts re the Innovation Fund

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Proud to announce our newest partner

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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.