Nancy Roob, CEO of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, stopped by to comment on my post about EMCF’s efforts to help scalable organizations:
Thanks for the kind words, Sean. Over the past four years, we’ve helped Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) set the groundwork to scale their operations so they can reach a significant portion of the 650,000 families in need of their services every year.
What we’ve learned so far is that effective programs like NFP can be sustainable at a larger scale, but it takes significant upfront resources to build the necessary infrastructure before organizations can grow with quality. So here at EMCF we are exploring new ways to capitalize (“fund” if you will) an organization’s growth plans before they set out to expand. That way organizations like NFP can focus their energies on building and maintaining quality, rather than being distracted by chasing dollars to fund each step.
You’re right – its going to take more than just foundations in this effort. We see the emerging generation of new philanthropists as an important – if not critical – partner in our work to help organizations with proven services reach greater numbers of youth.
This is an area of great interest to us, and we’d love to continue the discussion with you and your readers.
I’m sure my readers would love to continue the discussion too. I know I would.
…File this in the So Much to Know, So Little Time file. On Tuesday night, I was at a cocktail party in San Francisco with a bunch of social entrepreneurs. Jed Emerson was there and he and I had a nice conversation. At one point, I started telling him about EMCF’s efforts to find scalable nonprofits and how I thought they and others could leverage individual donors (who give 7 times what foundations do every year) by displaying their grantmaking portfolio in an engaging way and inviting other people to join them. Jed kind of nodded his head and smiled. So imagine my surprise when visiting the EMCF website today I realize that Jed is listed as a staff member of the foundation! I’ve lost track of the number of organizations Jed seems to be involved with. So much to learn, so little time.