A DONOR GUIDE TO
EVERYTHING WE DO IS GUIDED
BY OUR SOCIAL PURPOSE:
TO ACCELERATE INNOVATION AND
SCALE SOLUTIONS THAT WORK.
To scale up social innovation
A world where social problems are addressed at scale
IN 45 COUNTRIES
HAVE ENGAGED SPRING IMPACT OVER
THE PAST DECADE
PASSIONATE PROFESSIONALS ON
SPRING IMPACT’S TEAM
LETTER FROM THE CEO
SPRING IMPACT HELPS GREAT IDEAS FLOURISH.
“Fostering partnerships between mission-driven
organizations and donors, and seeing them reach their
goals, is incredibly fulfilling for all of us at Spring Impact.”
We know that growth and success need more than
great ideas to get to scale—they also need flexible
financial support, the right strategies, and first-class
I founded Spring Impact in 2011 after working in the
social sector for many years and seeing nonprofits
struggle as they tried to make a genuine dent in the
problem that they were addressing. I learned that
growth without a deliberate plan and processes
can lead to strained resources, wasted time, and
frustration for everyone involved. But getting this
mix right is hard, so I founded Spring Impact to
demystify the journey to changing lives at scale—
and ultimately make change happen more quickly
at a much greater scale.
Now, Spring Impact has an exceptional team with
wide-ranging experience working with nonprofits on
their journey to scale—in close partnership with the
donors that support them.
We know how to ask the right questions, delve deep
into the nonprofit’s ecosystem and potential markets,
map a dynamic, inclusive pathway to scale, and give
you the tools and mindset to do what it takes to grow.
We know that the best-laid plans need adaptation in the
real world, so we quickly move into action to see what
really works, sticking with you every step of the way.
You’ll see the mission you believe in achieve greater
human impact in a way that is inspiring, sustainable,
We look forward to partnering with you.
CEO and Founder
DONORS HAVE MANY REASONS
TO GIVE TO NONPROFITS.
BUT ALL DONORS WANT TO
MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
When a nonprofit finds an effective way to help its target population it often wants
to help even more people, on a broader scale. But scaling is not straightforward.
Nonprofits need effective tools to grow their work efficiently and sustainably—
always keeping their focus on the people they serve.
That’s where you come in, connecting high-impact social
sector leaders with a scaling methodology that works.
Impact that is truly effective and sustainable requires leadership, collaboration, and
responsiveness to changing needs. It requires an inclusive approach that is evidence
driven and adaptable. It requires continually listening to the expertise of your
nonprofit partners and the people they serve.
TANGIBLE SOCIAL IMPACT
ON BENEFICIARIES’ LIVES
YOU’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
NOW YOU WANT TO REACH
EVEN MORE PEOPLE IN NEED.
Spring Impact helps successful and ambitious nonprofits quickly and
sustainably expand to improve lives—and stay responsive as they grow.
Spring Impact’s passion is holistic implementation:
how to make growth happen and make it last.
Identify the stakeholders involved, what
changes are needed in the ecosystem, and
what elements need to be preserved.
Identify pathways to
scale to achieve impact
From replicating what works to building a
movement for change, explore different
pathways to scale that allow a nonprofit
to reach more people while maintaining
the quality of their solution. Gain feedback
from the people being served.
Position the nonprofit with
the right mindset and tools
Develop agile mindsets and practices to quickly test,
learn, and adapt the model to create sustainable and
scalable solutions faster. Then create strong internal
processes to maintain quality while implementing
INCLUSIVE SCALING MEANS EVERY VOICE
MATTERS IN THE JOURNEY TO IMPACT.
Donor expertise, nonprofit leadership, and dynamic
feedback mechanisms are essential for success.
Benefits from life-changing
services, directs feedback to
nonprofit, and spreads the word
about nonprofit’s value
Supplies leadership insights,
and nimble resources
journey with targeted
step of the way;
of beneficiaries’ needs,
and insights, on-theground
“The community is in the driver’s seat. … It’s not about Tostan’s
agenda; it’s about the community’s agenda.”
Tostan was launched in 1991 with a vision to promote a world
where everyone is treated equally and respectfully, can
live free from harm, and has the tools to determine their
own future and fulfill their potential. Based in the West
African country of Senegal, Tostan changes lives by helping
communities promote their own well-being.
“The community is in the driver’s seat,” says Elena Bonometti,
Tostan’s CEO. “It’s not about Tostan’s agenda; it’s about the
Alongside its empowering education classes for adults
and adolescents, Tostan helps the community establish
a democratically selected Community Management
Committee—with women making up at least half the
membership—that takes responsibility for implementing
chosen development projects.
“We have seen more than 30,000 women become leaders,
thanks to the benefits of Tostan’s educational programs,”
Bonometti says. “That’s one of our most important
outcomes—to help women fully participate in the life of
Tostan has been a leader in helping communities eliminate
female genital cutting and child marriage through listening to
local women’s experiences and helping build their confidence.
Six years after Tostan was founded, a group of local women
encouraged Tostan to create a new educational module
to facilitate discussions in communities and set goals for
eliminating genital cutting. “This was a pivotal moment, when
we began to understand the power of using human rights in
our curriculum,” Bonometti says.
READY TO SCALE
Over the past 30 years, Tostan’s program has been fine-tuned
based on what it’s learned working with communities. When
Tostan was ready to grow its proven program to reach even
more communities, its leadership did their homework.
“We chose Spring Impact after a very thorough process,”
Bonometti says. “We knew we had something to offer to the
world, but needed to know how to be smart about it to amplify
our impact to the greatest extent. With Spring Impact, we
found values alignment and a partner ready to listen and
adapt our framework. The choice was easy.”
Spring Impact worked with Tostan to prepare the organization
for entry into new countries and communities. Then came the
implementation stage. “We defined a pilot for our replication
pathway to scale, which is today taking place in Nigeria,” she
says. “We are learning by doing, as we are used to at Tostan.”
Bonometti says that Spring Impact is adept at facilitating
illuminating conversations and challenging organizations to
delve deeper into new possibilities. “We knew we could trust
them to provide us with a sounding board and push us so that
we can achieve our mission,” she says.
FLEXIBILITY UNDER PRESSURE
When COVID hit, Tostan had to pause and quickly pivot to
address prevention and care in the communities where they
work. “We were able to do that because we knew clearly what
our mission was and what our partner communities needed,”
Bonometti says. “Thanks to Spring Impact’s work with us, our
organization was flexible and had consciousness of what we
could do and what we couldn’t.”
“The work that we did with
Spring Impact has made
our organization stronger
and has become an
opportunity for us to prove
that what we do and the
way we do it is relevant to
the world today.”
ELENA BONOMETTI, CEO, TOSTAN
Spring Impact was instrumental in Tostan’s ability to be
resilient and make positive choices for community partners
and staff during the pandemic. “It was an amazing opportunity
for Tostan to prove how important our model is,” she says.
“The work that we did with Spring Impact has made our
organization stronger and has become an opportunity for us
to prove that what we do and the way we do it is relevant to
the world today.”
Bonometti notes that Tostan looks for philanthropic donors
who share its values and approach their funding with a spirit
of learning and evolution.
“Our donors have been true partners, working with us at
the root of the challenge, supportive of community choices,
co-creating as we go, and of course being open to consider
multiyear, unrestricted funding because the work that we do
requires patience and flexibility,” Bonometti says. “When we
co-create everyone wins, everyone gets more out of the work,
and we have a larger impact.”
Tostan has also learned the value of a long-term relationship
with an advisor like Spring Impact during the journey of
strategic scaling. Tostan recently received a generous gift
from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, and Bonometti says
they wouldn’t have been positioned for that incredible boost
without Spring Impact’s scaling guidance.
“As you’re growing, you take three steps forward and two
steps back, but you just keep going,” Bonometti says. “It’s
vital to have someone trustworthy by your side who asks the
right questions and supports you through difficult or sticky
moments. Spring Impact knows the history of that journey—
they’re part of that journey—and that’s added value; it’s a
COLLABORATION WITH SPRING IMPACT
Spring Impact played a pivotol role in
Tostan’s strategic positioning.
Assessed Tostan’s readiness to scale
Reviewed Tostan’s mission and
strengths, and evaluated how those
strengths could be amplified
Honed Tostan’s value proposition
Identified areas for growth
Designed a strategy for scaling
DYNAMIC DONOR PARTNERSHIPS
Nonprofits can scale when visionary donors invest in
positioning the nonprofit for success on a larger stage.
Philanthropist and nonprofit leader Kathryn Vizas has seen
firsthand how Spring Impact can help nonprofits thrive.
She worked with a large global health nonprofit that
completed a successful program in India. When the funding
was done, Vizas urged the nonprofit to engage Spring Impact
to assess the project for scalability.
“I wanted Spring Impact to validate what we were doing and
point out elements that were not necessary when the effort
was replicated,” she says. “Having Spring Impact, as an
independent party, validate the methodology was of value to
me as a donor.”
“If the organization is working with Spring Impact, there is a
sense of reassurance that the best method will be chosen,”
Vizas says. “Spring Impact’s involvement means you can know
your money will be well spent at each point along the journey.
Donors know that decisions are being made based on data
and evidence and a very deep analysis.”
FLEXIBLE FUNDING TO EXPAND HUMAN IMPACT
If operating with restricted resources, nonprofits often must
stay narrowly focused on their original purpose. But with a
donor partnership and flexible support, nonprofits can reach
new communities, be responsive to needs that arise, and
expand their human impact.
“Nonprofit leaders need to be able to respond in the moment
to the unexpected,” Vizas says.
Spring Impact’s validation can inspire a donor’s confidence
to determine whether they are making a good investment in a
nonprofit—and take the leap to trust the organization when it
needs to pivot.
“The reward for the donor is that their investment is leveraged
and they end up not just, for example, serving one village, but
serving an entire country,” Vizas says.
EDUCATION, INVESTMENT, AND VISION
Many nonprofits run on a shoestring budget, with a small staff
working long hours, often for little pay. They may not have the
time to think carefully about next steps—or the ability to see
the big picture.
“Spring Impact not only has the expertise to guide nonprofit
leaders through the process but also is a partner who stays
with you for the entire journey,” Vizas says, noting that donors
can also bring wisdom and perspective. “If funders learn
about effective scaling strategies, they can see when the
organizations they support might be ready to scale.”
Vizas says that Spring Impact and donors are both important
partners for nonprofits that want to grow.
“The bottom line is that a journey to scale requires funding,”
she says. “It requires a lot of time from the people who work
at the organization and it requires, to be successful, a certain
level of expertise. I see donors as partners in this journey to
scale. They have to be.”
“Executing a successful scale
strategy takes a lot of time on
behalf of the nonprofit leadership.
Scaling also takes funding. It’s
often the expectation of the donor
that their money will be used for
very specific things. They don’t
always understand that scaling
efforts also need to be funded.”
PHILANTHROPIST & NONPROFIT LEADER
THREE-STAGE SCALING METHODOLOGY
Vizas explains how donors are involved in Spring Impact’s three-stage scaling methodology:
VALIDATE MODEL FOR SCALE
The donor hires Spring
Impact to assess scale
readiness and validate
social impact, financials,
processes, and procedures.
Besides the obvious role of
funding, donors can keep
the endgame in everybody’s
head, the long-term goal—
and be a thought partner.
DESIGN PATHWAY FOR SCALE
Alongside the nonprofit and
the donor, Spring Impact
digs in and designs the path
the organization is going
to use to scale its impact,
and that includes what it
will cost. Those paths are
many and varied—some
are quite light touch, some
are more intensive.
This is where the organization
really needs that partnership
with Spring Impact when
they’re actually implementing
or systemizing. Donors may
not see an immediate uptick
in programming, but down the
road they will see that impact.
These composite personas represent
Spring Impact’s partners and their donors.
“We’ve dedicated our lives to helping
children. We’d always dreamed
of making a deeper, systemwide
difference for mothers and babies,
but needed the right nonprofit and
the right guidance from experienced
advisors to see this dream come true.”
Mark Neals is a longtime pediatrician, and Rebecca Neals
is a child psychologist who specializes in helping families
cope with trauma. They are both deeply involved in their
community and look for opportunities to give back.
Rebecca often volunteers to mentor young alumni through
her alma mater. Through a college event, she meets midwife
Maricela Santos and learns about Birth Empowerment,
Santos’s startup focused on helping improve birth outcomes
for vulnerable mothers by forming midwife-led childbirth
support groups. Inspired by Maricela’s passion, the
couple provides funding to help Birth Empowerment reach
The couple hires Spring Impact to help assess Birth
Empowerment’s readiness to scale and provide support
through the scaling journey.
Through Spring Impact, they learn how important it is
to be flexible in their funding approach and how Birth
Empowerment’s journey to scale will take persistence,
pivots, and vision—and potentially impact the healthcare
system to effect long-lasting change in the birth process.
• Provide flexible support while
Birth Empowerment scales
• See Birth Empowerment move into
• Improve the lives of babies, mothers, and families
• Give back to show gratitude for their success
• Want to see Birth Empowerment achieve
quick impact in communities
• Need additional guidance on helping a
nonprofit scale effectively
• Promote social good
• Help mothers and babies thrive
• Set example for their children and other donors
• Leave a legacy
Dedicated to families • Generous
Insightful • Passionate
“Spring Impact and visionary donors
helped Birth Empowerment scale
to provide midwife-led childbirth
support groups to improve the
well-being of dozens of communities.”
• Improve birth outcomes for
• Improve lives of babies and families
• Provide income to other midwives
• Achieve scale by reaching additional communities
• Systemic bias in health care
• Lack of plan to reach scale
• Maintain program and sustain growth
• Promote safety and well-being
• Give back to community
• Use skills to help others
• Impact the health system for long-lasting change
Compassionate • Courageous
Optimistic • Driven
When Maricela Santos learned about the devastating effects
of health inequity in childbirth—including maternal mortality
being at least four times higher for Black mothers than for
white mothers—she decided to devote her life to helping
underserved mothers and babies.
After completing midwife training, Santos designed Birth
Empowerment, a model of prenatal care for vulnerable
women to meet in groups with midwives and receive extra
support. She held groups in Baltimore, quickly grew the
program throughout Maryland, and wanted to expand to
serve even more mothers in need.
Through her alma mater, she met Rebecca Neals, who with
her husband, Mark, wanted to help fund the expansion of Birth
Empowerment. The couple hired Spring Impact to validate
Birth Empowerment’s methodology and evaluate its readiness
to scale. Spring Impact worked with the team to understand
the system that Birth Empowerment operated in and devise a
strategy to reach 100,000 mothers over three years. Spring
Impact began coaching the Birth Empowerment team to
get real-world feedback on how their program can be most
The donors pivoted with the team to test new ideas and
quickly find strategies to achieve their goals. Now Birth
Empowerment has the tools and processes they need to
achieve breakthrough solutions that will create impact.
SPRING IMPACT WORKING WITH DONORS
Whether you’re just getting started or are experienced in the
nonprofit sector, we help you rapidly move from thoughtful
strategy into action for greater impact.
Donors come to Spring Impact at different stages on their philanthropic journey. We have developed
and refined ways of working to meet you where you are. No donor is the same—we adapt solutions
to meet your needs.
We work with individual organizations
or collectives to help their journey
to scale. From scale-readiness
assessments to developing the
mindsets of leadership, we’ll help
define the gaps and ways to fill
them for maximum impact.
We’re experienced in facilitating cohort
programs such as our Scale Accelerator,
which takes groups of 6–10 organizations
through a six-month, in-depth, shared
experience to accelerate their journey
We’ve also had success with lighter-touch
cohort support, such as training webinars
for teams of 200+, and developed and
delivered online courses and coaching for
small groups—depending on your needs
WORKING WITH YOU
Sometimes you need fresh, strategic
thinking. We create internal- or
external-facing research with clear
recommendations for how your
impact can be scaled.
In all our work, chemistry is critical. The first step in our
process is an informal conversation to get to know each other
and understand your goals and aspirations.
“We knew we had something to offer
to the world, but needed to know
how to be smart about it to amplify
our impact to the greatest extent.
With Spring Impact, we found values
alignment and a partner ready to
listen and adapt our framework.”
ELENA BONOMETTI, CEO, TOSTAN
32 Blackfriars Rd.
London SE1 8PB
+44 (0) 203 1943060
5214F Diamond Heights Blvd. #961
San Francisco, CA 94131
+1 (415) 890 5214
313/757 Bourke St.
+61 (0) 3 9005 7341