GreenLight Fund Philadelphia

My friends at Kynetic invited my wife and me to attend a fundraising dinner last week for the GreenLight Fund Philadelphia.

There are many great causes out there that are always looking for time, talent or financial support to help further their mission of supporting others or accelerating positive change.

In the last few years, my wife and I have gotten closer or involved with some of them (Tony Hawk Foundation, Vetri Community Partnership, The First Tee etc.).

Tara and I are usually focused on causes aiming to support at-risk youth or provide foundational support structure to those who didn’t start their lives with a lot of it.

I’d heard of the GreenLight Fund before but wasn’t fully aware of their approach nor their foothold in Philly for the last seven years. GLF was actually founded by VCs at General Catalyst in Boston fourteen years ago.

The primary focus of the evening was on a new entity, under the GreenLight umbrella, that is providing financial intelligence and asset-building programs for a target group in need. That program was not founded in Philadelphia, but is now being migrated here with the help of Greenlight Philly. It was a very powerful conversation and recounting of recent impact.

Now I’m newish to the non-profit world, but there were a few high-leverage things that jumped out at me as more unique to Greenlight and it’s almost “accelerator” approach to social impact.

  1. Greenlight identifies the best and most impactful organizations nationally and then attempts to help them expand their reach into new communities and target markets quickly.
  2. Greenlight works with organizations to help them develop a self-sustaining non-profit model, which lessens or eliminates their reliance on fundraising.
  3. Greenlight cities combine local government and business leadership to prime the pump, and offer programs being expanded from their original market quicker and more efficient traction in the new city. Essentially, they create a locally connected launching pad for incoming programs from other areas.

The biz guy in me loves this on so many levels. Results oriented, high leverage and well connected. An efficient use of time and social dollar, no doubt.

My wife and I are looking forward to learning more as we lean in further.



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