Alliance magazine will conduct a one-of-a-kind ten-part interview series from 24 May through 28 August 2023. Alliance will interview eight social impact infrastructure organizations (SIIOs) and two representatives from foundations that fund them. The series will cover diverse SIIOs in category, size, and geographies within the United States and the Global South. Dissemination and advisory partners include WINGS and Propel Philanthropy. Some SIIOs to be highlighted include the United Philanthropy Forum, WINGS, TechSoup, Dasra, Generation Pledge, NEID Global, and Epic Africa.
Is the discussion on social impact infrastructure (SIIOs) organizations boring?
Some consider the topic of supporting SIIOs unsexy and even downright boring. We disagree. These organizations are immensely effective and critically needed to fast-track social progress. Unfortunately, very little has been written to help us fully understand the extensive impact SIIOs have achieved and how increased support could advance them further.
Why every funder should read this series
- There is an untold story about SIIOs that needs to be. For instance, SIIOs have impacted society on a grand scale, with contributions – in one instance – set to unlock triple-digit billions of dollars! Regardless of our personal opinions on the elite, The Giving Pledge motivated 214 billionaires to commit to giving away most of their money within their lifetimes. While some causes may be considered peripheral, some giving will go toward addressing inequities, global warming, and stabilizing democracy. SIIOs have been active in building the social impact investment market that now sits at over $1.64 trillion and occupies 2 per cent of financial markets.
- SIIOs have been on the cusp of every evolution in philanthropy, including trust-based philanthropy, building collaborations, the Sustainable Development Goals, reflections on power dynamics, equity, and inclusion, investing in localized aid, and more. Organizations such as WINGS and netFWD build relationships with government ministries to improve how billions of dollars of development aid are given away each year.
- Almost all available literature on social impact-related infrastructure is academic. While these contributions are valuable, we need articles that breathe life into the topic! Alliance’s questions were designed to inspire funders to imagine possibilities beyond their current periphery. This series will help readers appreciate the dreams people involved in SIIOs work to achieve. Additionally, these articles may lead funders to appreciate the frustrations and challenges those working in these organizations experience.
- The success of our shared future lies in our capacity to increase the accessibility of global resources. These resources include charitable, human, and social investment capital; collaborative, partnership, and multi-sector stakeholder capital; and entrepreneurial capital, fostering the scaling of innovations and adoption of best practices.
- Unfortunately, what we often read is true: We now face unprecedented challenges. We can no longer solve them by only working in silos. We must seriously consider putting a portion of our funding toward achieving broad, large-scale results that will not likely fit neatly into our other personal or organizational objectives.
An exciting chance for exchange on SIIOs
We believe this series will be historic. It is the first time a series of interview articles on SIIOs has been published. While related articles have been written, they were rarely purposed to elicit an emotional response. We sorely need perspectives and stories on SIIOs that inspire change. We have not yet entered the dreams – the inner visions – of people who have dedicated their lives to achieving far-reaching social impact by building the infrastructure that underpins all progress.
However, the verdict is not in our hands – it’s in yours! Everything hinges on individuals, particularly funders, who will share these articles with their social media audiences and peers. Together we can elevate the dialogue on SIIOs and the urgent need for increased social impact infrastructure.
We are excited for you to join our campaign by clicking here.
Peter Brach is the Founder of Propel Philanthropy.