Echoing Green has modeled our fellowship program around our distinct approach to social change:
Social entrepreneurs play a vital role in fostering societal change
· The next big idea for social change will come from a robust pipeline of new leaders with innovative solutions. Social entrepreneurs exhibit an extremely high level of passion and commitment to their ideas. As a result, they remain steadfast on realizing their vision, but they also remain malleable in order to weather the obstacles that they will confront.
· Social entrepreneurs are extraordinary "bridgers." They have the great ability to deeply engage multiple and diverse stakeholders in their work, attracting corporate, public, and nonprofit leaders alike.
Social entrepreneurs need support and a strong network to succeed
· Social change work is oftentimes lonely and arduous and beyond the capacity of any one individual, especially during its start-up stage.
· A strong network of support is critical to sustaining the work of great societal leaders and broadening their impact.
What is Social Entrepreneurship?
Social entrepreneurship is the work of social entrepreneurs. We believe that social entrepreneurs are those exceptional individuals who dream up and take responsibility for an innovative and untested idea for positive social change, and usher that idea from dream to reality. What enables social entrepreneurs to make lasting impact on the most difficult problems is a special combination of groundbreaking creativity and steadfast execution. Echoing Green’s portfolio of social entrepreneurs attack the root causes of critical social problems with unparalleled rigor.
Echoing Green and Social Entrepreneurs
Echoing Green has been in the business of identifying, funding, and supporting emerging social entrepreneurs since 1987, when we funded our first fellow, Diana Propper de Callejon. We’ve provided critical support social entrepreneurs like Wendy Kopp of Teach For America, Michael Brown and Alan Khazei of City Year, Mark Hanis of Genocide Intervention Network, and Karen Tse of International Bridges to Justice. People who have great ideas shouldn’t fall through the cracks, and sometimes they need a boost to find their way to execution and then to impact. Through the years, the Echoing Green Fellowship has been an indispensible ally to social entrepreneurs who have new and untested ideas for transformative social change.
As the field of social entrepreneurship has grown, new funding streams have developed to support social entrepreneurs on their pathways to change. Organizations like Skoll Foundation, Ashoka, Schwab Foundation, and Draper Richards Foundation now provide first-stage and mezzanine-level funding. Echoing Green remains committed to very early stage support of new and untested ideas of the hands of visionary social entrepreneurs .
As one of the only organizations solely focusing on seeding sustainable social change organizations, Echoing Green evaluates the impact of our work on a few different levels.
· To date, Echoing Green has invested $27 million in seed grants to over 450 social entrepreneurs.
· Echoing Green Fellows have sparked social change in forty countries on five continents.
Return on Investment:
· By year two, Echoing Green Fellows raise three times their Echoing Green grant.
· Five years after the completion of their fellowship, Echoing Green funded organizations raised total dollars equivalent to thirty-seven times their total Echoing Green seed investment.
· According to a 2004 study, Echoing Green Fellows’ organizations raised approximately $930 million to support their work—an ROI of forty-four times our initial investment.
Launching Organizations Built for Impact:
· By year two, 58 percent of Echoing Green organizations have budgets over $100,000, compared to 43 percent of peer organizations.
· By year two, 86 percent of Echoing Green Fellows hire at least one additional staff member, compared to 75 percent of peer organizations.
Creating Long-Term Solutions:
· Approximately two out of three organizations founded through an Echoing Green investment reaches sustainability.
· Of the organizations without current fellow involvement, 75 percent continue to thrive under new leadership.
Echoing Green also assesses our fellows' idea diffusion—how our fellows' innovative ideas, models, or strategies for social change are adopted, adapted, and developed by other institutions and eventually considered a mainstream practice.
Please visit http://www.echoinggreen.org