System-level change requires collaboration across a range of partners—social entrepreneurs know this well. It’s become clear that a collaborative approach among funders is also a critical piece of the puzzle of solving the world’s most pressing problems. Today, a collection of leading philanthropists announced the launch of Co-Impact, which will invest $500 million in health, education, and economic opportunity to ignite systems level change in communities across the developing world.
Jeff Skoll joins Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Dr. Romesh and Kathy Wadhwani, and The Rockefeller Foundation in this landmark effort. Olivia Leland, Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation and founding director of the Giving Pledge, is the founder of Co-Impact and will be Co-Impact’s CEO. Additional core partners will join as co-investors interested in specific initiatives or geographic areas. In addition, a Co-Impact Network will provide a broader group of philanthropists from around the world with an opportunity to contribute, exchange, and learn from Co-Impact’s model:
“We believe that collaboration is critical to solving some of the world’s most daunting social challenges,” said Leland. “Our goal is to build a community where philanthropists can work and learn together—along with successful social change leaders—to drive extraordinary results. Our hope is that over time more philanthropists will come together to pool resources and expertise to support great social change approaches and drive results at scale.”
Co-Impact will make its first system change grants in the first half of 2018. These grants will be informed by more than a year’s worth of due diligence and field research. Systems change grants will be up to US $50 million, flexibly structured, and will go to initiatives with proven leadership and results that are poised to scale even further. Co-Impact will also seek to unlock additional participation by governments and the private sector.
“Time is not on our side on some of the world’s most pressing issues,” said Jeff Skoll. “Investing more in social entrepreneurs’ proven work allows them to accelerate their pace and reach, and enhances the possibility of achieving transformational social change sooner. It’s a pleasure to join this new philanthropic collaborative along with people I greatly admire, in support of the change-makers our world needs.”