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Global Partnerships 

Description

Founded in 1994, Global Partnerships (GP) is a nonprofit impact investor. We invest in market-sustained solutions that expand opportunity for people living in poverty, helping them earn a living and improve their lives. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, GP also has an office in Managua, Nicaragua and plans to open up another office in East Africa in 2015. We invest in social enterprises - including microfinance institutions, cooperatives, solar light manufacturers and other social businesses – that deliver essential goods and services to people living in poverty.

Our investments are currently focused in four impact areas: health, rural livelihoods, green technology and microentrepreneurship. 

Mission Statement
Global Partnerships expands opportunity for people living in poverty.
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Global Partnerships
1932 1st Ave Ste 400 
Seattle 
WA
98101 
(206) 652-8773 

Gail DeGiulio 
Chief Capital Resource Officer 

Programs

Global Partnerships Programs

GP’s investments are focused currently on four impact areas:

Microentrepreneurship
Providing access to credit combined with financial/business education helps create sustainable businesses and job opportunities. This is why we support partners that that are responsive to client needs, which range from basic financial literacy to business marketing to holistic women’s empowerment education. We aim to continue supporting innovations that drive entrepreneurialism and will keep investing in partners that pair credit with customized financial/business education.

Rural Livelihoods
Smallholder farmers often lack access to technical assistance on the best crop-growing practices as well as working capital and access to commercial markets. We invest in partners that can provide these important services that will help smallholder farmers improve their livelihoods. We currently invest in 15 social enterprises providing a combination of technical assistance, access to commercial markets and working capital.

Health
By investing in initiatives in health education and screening as well as primary care and essential medicines, our investments in social enterprises help improve overall family health, which leads to greater economic opportunity. We now invest in 13 social enterprises that offer some combination of health services in addition to financial services.

Green Technology
We invest in partners that deliver affordable, appropriate solar light technologies to families living beyond the grid. Some of the benefits of solar lights include extending families’ workdays and study time, economic savings, and removing the toxic smoke emitted from handmade kerosene lamps, which can lead to upper respiratory disease.

Philanthropic support is critical to GP’s success, as donations fuel our innovation and unlock market-based solutions to poverty. Philanthropy enables us to identify emerging opportunities that have the potential to bring meaningful opportunity to people living in poverty, research new models and programs, and evaluate the impact of our work. Our social investment funds provide loan capital to partners with demonstrated sustainable business models, which in turn helps these partners scale up and serve more people living in poverty.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

We rely on philanthropy to continue exploring promising new initiatives and identifying partners that are committed to social impact. Thanks to research made possible by generous donations, Global Partnerships recently invested in Greenlight Planet.

Greenlight Planet (GLP) is a social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lights for low-income, off-grid communities in the developing world. GLP’s reach has expanded beyond India into sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and recently Latin America, where 24 million people lack access to electricity. Global Partnerships’ investment in GLP is helping them expand distribution in the region and offer more flexible payment terms to select distribution partners. This provides more families living in remote, un-electrified communities with access to clean, affordable lights.

Evaluation

Global Partnerships (GP) was founded in 1994 as a family foundation that provided grants to microfinance organizations in Central America. Today, GP has expanded beyond that initial model to partner with and invest in many types of social enterprises that provide people living in poverty with access to products and services that can improve their lives. These products and services include access to loans paired with financial education, solar technology, health education and more. To date, GP has invested more than $150 million in social enterprises and has made an impact on 2.9 million lives in 12 countries.

Proven Success
GP pioneers and invests in sustainable solutions that help impoverished people earn a living and improve their lives. As an example, GP’s investment in a community pharmacy program in Honduras has helped improve access to affordable medications for ~39,000 people living in rural communities who would otherwise need to travel long distances or pay high prices for basic medications. The savings and credit co-op that ran the pharmacy program needed a way to make their program financially sustainable so that it could scale up and serve more people; GP helped them make progress toward financial sustainability by collaborating with the co-op to restructure the program’s business plan. In recent years, GP has received growing recognition from a number of reputable institutions, including the inaugural 2014 Impact Award from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution. GP’s five Social Investment Funds over the past 10 years have made over $150 million in impact investments, resulting in 231 loans to social enterprises and 38 consecutive quarters of returning principal plus targeted interest to its investors.

Best Practices
GP uses a rigorous screening process to select its partners. Teams based in Seattle, Washington and Managua, Nicaragua (and soon to be East Africa) travel extensively to conduct screening visits with potential partners to ensure that the organization is financially-sound, delivers impact for communities that are living in poverty, implements a sustainable business model, and is aligned with one or more of GP’s impact areas: microentrepreneurship, rural livelihoods, health, and green technology.

Collaboration
Part of GP’s success is based on establishing strong working relationships with social enterprise partners that best understand local needs, challenges and opportunities. GP works alongside its partners to exchange ideas and build sustainable solutions. As of December 2014, GP has 47 active partners, whose profiles can be found here.

Financial Health
Committed to transparency, GP maintains standing as a GuideStar Gold participant (read its Guidestar profile here) and publishes its audited financial statements here. GP is a unique nonprofit in that it depends on philanthropic contributions to fund research, learning and innovation and relies on its social investment Funds to support the expansion of proven solutions. Philanthropic contributions are primarily received from over 1,200 active private individuals and grants from development institutions, foundations and corporations. GP also earns a percentage of its revenue through the management of its Social Investment Funds.
(Evaluated by the Seattle International Foundation, a supporting organization of The Seattle Foundation)

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
There are no recent grants awarded to this organization.

Financials

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