Innovation Fund Winners Announced: Four Nonprofits Selected For Project Funding

GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A path to prosperity for the poorest of Morocco's rural farmers through organic certification. Financing a new "service for fee" lab that will help support a Kenyan village for children orphaned by HIV. Increasing equipment access for cyber-cafes located in rural Congolese missions run by a Catholic order of religious women to support education efforts. Improving a dental clinic's equipment in Southeast Asia to implement paid services and using the fees to support a free dental clinic. These are the proposals that were selected from nearly 50 applicants to be the inaugural grantees of the Alliance for Global Good's Innovation Fund.

"The winning proposals represent an extremely diverse group in many ways," said David Brand, AFGG's president and CEO. Qualified applicants were medium-sized, US-based nonprofits that work on solving global problems in the Alliance's critical areas of emphasis: poverty, health, education, environment, and world relations. "Geographically, they touch Africa, MENA, and southeast Asia. They address rural and urban situations, and involve both the most impoverished and emerging economies. There are both faith based and secular organizations. But all of them engage the market as a means of providing revenue in a way consistent with social mission. And that is what the Fund seeks to support," Brand added.

Those applications meeting the Fund's objective requirements were reviewed by an external panel consisting of Antony Bugg-Levine, Carol Adelman, and Richard Bendis, 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 7 finalists, all of which made live presentations to a second group, consisting of venture philanthropist Maureen Baehr, turnaround/restructuring specialist Michael Johnson, and McKinsey director Anish Melwani. Finalist presentations focused on the actual business elements, such as understanding of markets, business strategy, viability, and management capacity.

"Both in crafting the original Request for Proposals and selecting the winning applicants, we have been extremely fortunate to have had the participation of individuals with tremendous experience and wisdom," said Dr. Susan Raymond, Executive Vice President of Changing Our World, who assisted AFGG in shaping the Fund's focus. "The first group confirmed the tremendous need this fund addresses. The six reviewers helped make sure that the grants were put where they can do the most good," added Raymond.

The winning applicants and their proposals are:

Children of God Relief Fund | Kenya

  • Alliance Areas of Concern: Health, Education, Environment, Poverty
  • Challenge: New laboratory facility with increased capacity also generates increased expenses. These expenses in turn reduce net revenue that is used to support the organization's primary program services, e.g., serving 4,300 children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS plus thousands of family members.
  • Solution: Create a marketing plan and advertising campaign to find the best opportunities to use the new laboratory's increased capacity to fill the unmet needs for HIV/AIDS, TB, and other types of medical testing in Nairobi and surrounding communities on a fee basis.

East Meets West | Vietnam

  • Challenge: How to address downturn in receipt of charitable contributions so as to realize the organization's primary mission, serving the poor and the disadvantaged in Asia.
  • Solution: Create a fee for service dental business center at a DaNang, Vietnam clinic which currently serves only indigent population; revise existing volunteer program to become a voluntourism program, generating fees for costs currently absorbed by the organization, and freeing up funds to continue to serve the poor.

High Atlas Foundation | Morocco

  • Challenge: How to grow earned income of resident client population, as well as create source of sustainable revenue for organizational needs.
  • Solution: Obtain organic certification for residents' agricultural products and create supply chain that eliminates middle man, thereby increasing revenue generated many times over, allowing both organization and target population to benefit.

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur | Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Challenge: Lack of capital to grow existing computer-related facilities (cyber-cafes) at Mission maintained centers so that net proceeds can be used for scholarships for impoverished children.
  • Solution: Purchase additional equipment that can be used for income generation in excess of expenses

The Fund was first announced at the Alliance's Inaugural Bipartisan Conference on Innovation in Giving & Philanthropy in November, 2011. For more information about the Innovation Fund, or about the Alliance for Global Good, call (336) 376-7710 or visit

About the Alliance for Global Good

Founded by philanthropist Leonard Kaplan out of concern for global crises that threaten succeeding generations, the Alliance for Global Good is the realization of the maxim that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Focused more on how philanthropy is practiced rather than on any single cause or need, the Alliance promotes philanthropic efficiency and effectiveness. Five guiding principles—innovation, collaboration, leverage, sustainability, and scalability—are used to evaluate and engage in opportunities to impact five areas: health, poverty, education, the environment, and world relations.

SOURCE Alliance for Global Good