Disclaimer: this is not an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities. Offers are made only following verification of eligibility and solely pursuant to a fund’s private offering materials.
1. Tell us about your mission.
Global Partnerships (GP) is a nonprofit, impact-first investor dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. Our funds make loans and early stage investments in social enterprises delivering products and services that empower people to earn a living and improve their lives. Our investments seek social impact on four dimensions:
- Broadening Opportunity: We have a holistic understanding of poverty, so we invest across all facets of poverty – livelihoods, education, energy, health, housing, and sanitation.
- Deepening Inclusion: We invest at the edge of the market, emphasizing approaches that include people marginalized by depth of poverty, gender, and/or geography, including women and the rural poor.
- Serving Millions: We believe that every person matters, and we aim to expand opportunity for as many people as possible. We therefore focus on sustainable approaches that can, over time, scale to serve millions of people living in poverty.
- Improving Lives: We only invest where evidence convinces us that people living in poverty value the opportunity being delivered and are empowered by it – economically or otherwise – to improve their lives.
2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?
For over a decade, The West Foundation’s support for GP has allowed us to grow and expand our work. That growth has expanded our impact significantly in service of our mission to expand opportunity for households living in poverty. As of June 30, 2020:
- Our funds have deployed more than $441 million in cumulative impact-led capital to over 155 partners across 23 countries.
- Our current fund portfolio of $122 million serves people living in poverty across 15 initiatives, from urban sanitation to women-centered finance with education.
- Our efforts to provide economic opportunity, better health, cleaner energy, safer and more secure housing, and other human services have cumulatively impacted 19.3 million lives.
3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?
Philanthropic support from The West Foundation and other mission-driven supporters has strengthened our operations while allowing us to stretch to increase our impact. In recent years we have launched new investment funds, developed new initiatives to address the varied facets of poverty, increased our lending volume to social enterprises, and expanded into sub-Saharan Africa, all while building a sustainable staff structure to support those efforts.
GP also has a dedicated research and impact team that is largely funded by philanthropic support like that of The West Foundation. From researching new potential partners dedicated to social impact, to developing impact screening tools, our research and impact team continually enhances our ability to improve lives for people living in poverty.
4. How are you realizing your potential?
For 25 years, GP funds have invested in sustainable solutions that help impoverished people increase their incomes and improve their lives. During that time, we have continually reviewed and improved our approach. Our analysis starts from the household: what products and services are truly making a difference for people and families living in poverty? What social enterprises are providing those products and services affordably and at scale? Can GP help them do more?
We use leading-edge impact management tools, and we have a learning mindset. That means that we are constantly evolving to make sure we are meeting needs and striving toward our mission.
As the world is responding to the economic and health crisis posed by COVID-19, GP is committed to walking alongside our 80+ social enterprise partners and the millions of people living in poverty whom they serve. We hope to help our partners as they navigate through to the other side of this pandemic and emerge sustainable, resilient, and impactful for the long-term.
5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?
GP is an impact-first investor, which means investing in a way that seeks the highest possible social impact, while seeking to preserve capital with a modest financial return for investors.
Impact-first investing is distinctly different from return-first investing, which seeks the highest possible financial return, often without consideration of social or environmental consequences, and from the broader definition of impact investing which seeks to offer market rate or near-market rate financial returns that can be a tradeoff to truly maximizing impact.
We believe that impact-first investing has an essential role to play in advancing sustainable solutions to poverty for millions of people worldwide.
6. How can people reading this help you?
Learn more about GP’s response to COVID-19 and about the investment initiatives GP develops to address different facets of poverty. If you are interested in making a philanthropic impact with GP, please contact us.
7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?
GP is seeking catalytic philanthropic supporters to make five-year commitments to Global Partnerships. An impact-first approach to investment requires significant resources to ensure positive impact truly comes first. GP is more than 90 percent of the way toward our goal of raising $15 million in philanthropy over five years to support impact-first work related to the portfolio of our funds. For Global Partnerships, philanthropy is more than a donation. We are enormously grateful to The West Foundation for providing catalytic philanthropic support for over ten years.