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.
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.
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.
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
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)