We Identify Visionaries: Through our multi-tiered selection process, Echoing Green identifies talented, yet unproven, social entrepreneurs who are dedicated to addressing the root causes of societal challenges.
We Invest in Innovation: We provide seed grants to help Echoing Green Fellows transform innovative ideas into action. By applying entrepreneurial principles to social sector investment, we help launch cutting-edge organizations that transform communities.
We Provide Hands-on Support: We provide technical assistance and consultations to help new leaders build organizations, increase their organization’s capacity, and manage growth. We also facilitate peer-to-peer learning to enhance leadership skills and ensure organizational sustainability.
We Connect People: We harness the experience and expertise of our global network of social entrepreneurs to share best practices and ensure successfor all.
To accelerate social change, Echoing Green invests in and supports outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs to launch new organizations that deliver bold, high-impact solutions. Through a two-year fellowship program, we help our network of visionaries develop new solutions to society’s most difficult problems. These social entrepreneurs and their organizations work to solve deeply-rooted social, environmental, economic, and political inequities to ensure equal access and to help all individuals reach their potential. To date, Echoing Green has invested $25 million in seed funding to nearly 450 social entrepreneurs and their innovative organizations.
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.
More risk-taking is requiring in the philanthropic sector to drive true social change The entrepreneurial spirit that has long driven the economic growth in the U.S. and around the world needs to be brought to the social sector. Social change is created by developing new approaches that address root causes. Throughout history, breakthrough ideas and social change tend to come from the margins of society. New organizations, unconstrained by tradition, are often best able to challenge the status quo.
As one of the only organizations solely focuses on seeding sustainable social change organizations, Echoing Green evaluates the impact of our work on a few different levels.
Scale: To date, Echoing Green has invested $25 million in seed grants to nearly 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, 46 percent of Echoing Green organizations have budgets over $100,000, compared to 20 percent of peer organizations. By year two, 85 percent of Echoing Green Fellows hire at least one additional staff member, compared to 23 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