It’s tough for non-profit organizations to find scaling capital—especially now. Donations come and go. Foundations provide restricted grants for pet projects. Even with a strong sustainable business plan, it’s hard to find unrestricted grants to grow.
That’s why I’m encouraged by a new generation of non-profit venture and growth funds. New School Venture Fund and Charter School Growth Fund have been engines of charter growth. The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation has been a savvy funder of youth development organizations.
Chuck Harris, a former Goldman partner, has put together a great team at Seachange Capital Partners with a mission “to mobilize a network of major donors, to provide substantial funding for outstanding nonprofits. We are focusing on organizations involved in education and youth development that have the opportunity, capacity, and ambition to increase their impact significantly on behalf of low-income young people in the United States.”
As we come out of this recession, there will be a new generation of social entrepreneurs supported by an increasingly sophisticated non-profit investment community. It’s encouraging to see guys like Chuck in the business.