#MeetTheNeed – How Echoing Green is Supporting the Social Entrepreneurs Reimagining the Future

General Atlantic recently launched #MeetTheNeed, an initiative to collect and share the inspiring stories of the entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations making a positive impact around the world. We’re amazed at the ways our portfolio companies and the broader GA network have mobilized in response to COVID-19. Our teams around the globe are donating to these efforts, and the GA Foundation is amplifying this giving by matching employee donations.

From Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green, a non-profit focused on social innovation that General Atlantic helped to found more than 30 years ago

The historian Frank Snowden observed that pandemics don’t just reflect society’s vulnerabilities – they present opportunities for transformational change. This insight has guided Echoing Green as they’ve launched their response to COVID-19.

Echoing Green is a social entrepreneurship non-profit founded with support from General Atlantic in 1987. The organization is dedicated to finding the best and brightest leaders in social innovation and providing them the resources they need to succeed. Today, their network of fellows and alumni is nearly 900 strong across 86 countries, including the founders of Teach for America and City Year, Michelle Obama and Van Jones. 

The COVID-19 crisis has been a pressure test of the organization’s mission. They saw that Echoing Green needed to not only provide recovery support but also help lead the way in terms of reimagining what comes after this pandemic.

For the past several months, the pandemic has exacerbated disparities in income, education, health and beyond. Now more than ever, Echoing Green believes that society needs to evolve to withstand future shocks and build a more just, equitable and sustainable world.

Echoing Green’s fellows have already brought their expertise to bear to combat this crisis. For example, Dr. Raj Panjabi, founder of Last Mile Health, played a critical role in halting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Today, Raj and his team are supporting local partners in the U.S. to stop the spread of COVID-19 and share those lessons globally.

Other fellows are focused on the impact of the virus’s impact on systemic poverty and wealth inequality. Purvi Shah, founder of Movement Law Lab, has helped organize lawyers around the world, championing social safety-net issues such as housing justice, evictions, rent moratoriums and rent forgiveness.

To support this important work, Echoing Green has launched The Fund to Mobilize Against COVID-19, a dedicated fund to support the social innovation community right now. The fund will focus on three core tenets: Relief, Rebuilding and Reimagining. With the support of General Atlantic, the organization raised more than $500,000 as of early May.

The fund is providing immediate relief to social entrepreneurs, including emergency grants for urgent needs. It’s also providing technical and well-being support to help social entrepreneurs lead through the crisis.

The team recognizes that they can’t go back to business as usual after this crisis. Echoing Green and its entrepreneurs are looking beyond the immediate response to the pandemic to ensure they are future-proofing their organization, the social impact space and the world at large. Their goal is to help everyone think and act differently moving forward.

Please visit www.echoinggreen.org/covid-19 to learn more or to donate.

Read our article on XP Investimento’s efforts in Brazil here.
Read our article on Life Science Cares’ work in Boston and Philadelphia here.