New model for ‘philanthropy at scale’ launched by global philanthropists


Alliance magazine


Some of the world’s wealthiest people have combined forces to launch Co-Impact, a new $500 million initiative to pool resources, talent and ideas to improve the lives of underserved populations across the developing world.

Olivia Leland, a managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation and founding director of the Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge, will take up the role of CEO.

Co-Impact founding partners include prominent funders such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skoll, Romesh and Kathy Wadhwani and Richard Chandler. Other notable partners include the Rockefeller Foundation, who are incubating the initiative and providing core and operating support, and Indian Giving Pledge signatories, Rohini and Nandan Nilekani, whose EkStep Foundation will serve as a ‘technical partner’.

Together, they will invest a planned $500 million in three areas – health, education, and economic opportunity.

Co-Impact also aims to pioneer a new global model of what the founders call ‘collaborative philanthropy’ and social change at scale. Its founders argue that the initiative is not a talking or giving shop for the wealthy. According to press briefings, the initiative is ‘not about rich people getting together and donating their wealth’; rather it was founded on the belief ‘that collaboration is key to solving the world’s most pressing challenges and that no foundation, NGO, or social impact leader can go at it alone’.

Raj Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, commented that success will require ‘fundamentally changing the way philanthropy, social change leaders, governments, business, and civil society work together—and that is the kind of collaboration and partnership that Co-Impact will enable.’

Co-Impact also notes that there are currently insufficient mechanisms for donors to partner on large multi-year projects or for social change leaders to find philanthropists who can provide that long-term support.

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