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Spring Impact Donor Guide - US

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A DONOR GUIDE TO

SCALING

YOUR

IMPACT


EVERYTHING WE DO IS GUIDED

BY OUR SOCIAL PURPOSE:

TO ACCELERATE INNOVATION AND

SCALE SOLUTIONS THAT WORK.

OUR MISSION:

To scale up social innovation

OUR VISION:

A world where social problems are addressed at scale

200+

NONPROFITS

IN 45 COUNTRIES

HAVE ENGAGED SPRING IMPACT OVER

THE PAST DECADE

25

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

implementation.

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,

and resilient.

We look forward to partnering with you.

DAN BERELOWITZ

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.


PASSIONATE

DONOR SUPPORT

STRONG,

PROVEN

NONPROFIT

SPRING

IMPACT’S

METHODOLOGY

TANGIBLE SOCIAL IMPACT

ON BENEFICIARIES’ LIVES


YOU’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

NOW YOU WANT TO REACH

EVEN MORE PEOPLE IN NEED.

JOURNEY TO

INCLUSIVE IMPACT


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.

1

Understand the

nonprofit’s ecosystem

Identify the stakeholders involved, what

changes are needed in the ecosystem, and

what elements need to be preserved.

2

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.

3

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

growth plans.


INCLUSIVE SCALING MEANS EVERY VOICE

MATTERS IN THE JOURNEY TO IMPACT.

Donor expertise, nonprofit leadership, and dynamic

feedback mechanisms are essential for success.

BENEFICIARY

Benefits from life-changing

services, directs feedback to

nonprofit, and spreads the word

about nonprofit’s value


DONOR

Supplies leadership insights,

passionate commitment,

and nimble resources

SPRING

IMPACT

Guides scaling

journey with targeted

support every

step of the way;

designs feedback

mechanisms for

continual adaptability

NONPROFIT

Provides understanding

of beneficiaries’ needs,

valuable experience

and insights, on-theground

action, and

active listening


NONPROFIT STORY

TOSTAN

“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

community’s agenda.”

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT

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

their communities.”

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.”

LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS

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

huge asset.”

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


DONOR STORY

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.”

KATHRYN VIZAS,

PHILANTHROPIST & NONPROFIT LEADER

THREE-STAGE SCALING METHODOLOGY

Vizas explains how donors are involved in Spring Impact’s three-stage scaling methodology:

STAGE 1

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.

STAGE 2

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.

STAGE 3

SYSTEMIZE IMPLEMENTATION

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.


DONOR PROFILE

These composite personas represent

Spring Impact’s partners and their donors.

MARK AND

REBECCA NEALS

“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

additional communities.

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.

GOALS

• Provide flexible support while

Birth Empowerment scales

• See Birth Empowerment move into

additional communities

• Improve the lives of babies, mothers, and families

• Give back to show gratitude for their success

CHALLENGES

• Want to see Birth Empowerment achieve

quick impact in communities

• Need additional guidance on helping a

nonprofit scale effectively

MOTIVATION

• Promote social good

• Help mothers and babies thrive

• Set example for their children and other donors

• Leave a legacy

DEFINING TRAITS

Dedicated to families • Generous

Insightful • Passionate


NONPROFIT PROFILE

BIRTH EMPOWERMENT

“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.”

GOALS

• Improve birth outcomes for

underserved mothers

• Improve lives of babies and families

• Provide income to other midwives

• Achieve scale by reaching additional communities

CHALLENGES

• Systemic bias in health care

• Lack of plan to reach scale

• Maintain program and sustain growth

throughout pandemic

MOTIVATION

• Promote safety and well-being

• Give back to community

• Use skills to help others

• Impact the health system for long-lasting change

DEFINING TRAITS

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

effective.

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.

INDIVIDUAL TEAMS

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.

COHORT PROGRAMS

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

to impact.

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

and aims.

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


WWW.SPRINGIMPACT.ORG

@SpringImpact

linkedin.com/company/springimpact

@springimpact

U.K.

Working From_Southwark

32 Blackfriars Rd.

London SE1 8PB

+44 (0) 203 1943060

U.S.A.

5214F Diamond Heights Blvd. #961

San Francisco, CA 94131

+1 (415) 890 5214

AUSTRALIA

Community Works

313/757 Bourke St.

Docklands

Victoria 3008

+61 (0) 3 9005 7341

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