We launched the Social Sector Accelerator to seek out, design, and test market-driven and evidence-based solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. We’re excited to announce the launch of our Blue Forests Initiative, an effort to combine advances in behavioral science, innovative finance, and the conservation of one of the world’s most important habitats: mangroves.
Over the past few years, foundations of all types have embraced “capacity building” for their grantees as a core part of their strategy for generating social impact. Their strategies include providing a range of supports for their grantee partners from add-ons to existing program grants to larger scale organizational strengthening programs. What these foundations all have in common is a belief in something we call a “capacity dividend”: the notion that investments in their grantee partners’ capacity offers “returns” in the form of greater efficiency, effectiveness, and ultimately greater social impact.
But how does this understanding of the power of ‘capacity building’ change for foundations that have an outsized influence in their community? Does being the primary funder in a particular domain or location come with special responsibilities? Should this dynamic change a foundation’s investment strategy?
What does a week together with foundation and partner staff look like as we explore the challenges and opportunities to building strong organizations that can weather changes in their operating environment. In what ways can increased capacities and capabilities deliver improved health outcomes in their communities? What key capacities do they need to be more resilient? How can they improve their impact through increased use of data and experimentation?
The Social Sector Accelerator works with and through organizations, companies and both local and national government in the Dominican Republic to build resilient coastal communities - improving their ability to weather increasing storm intensity and rising sea levels.
This blog post was previously published on the Counterpart International blog.