Signal Fund is bridging critical funding gaps for social innovatorsLEARN MORE

Annual Report 2020

We need social innovators now and long into the future.

In 2020, people worldwide experienced urgent social and environmental events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, social and political uprisings, and the continued progression of climate change. Learn how our community of social innovators leaned in to support their communities and how Echoing Green is working to sustain and accelerate their impact.

Download the Report


Echoing Green discovers the brightest leaders with the most promising ideas to accelerate change and invests deeply in the growth of their ideas and leadership. Since our founding, we’ve built a broad, dynamic ecosystem to support leaders as they challenge the status quo to change the world. We equip leaders with resources needed to launch sustainable social enterprises. We connect them to the capital, networks, and knowledge they need to create system-wide change.


Over 30 years, we have cultivated a diverse community working in 86 countries to tackle intersecting global issues through a variety of approaches. We connect these leaders to the capital, networks, and knowledge they need to launch sustainable and high-impact social enterprises.

There are over 100 Fellow-founded organizations with an explicit focus on reducing racial inequality, and upwards of 300 organizations that have addressed racial inequality through the lenses of Education, Health, Civil and Human Rights, the Environment, Arts & Culture, and more.

$48 Million

Echoing Green has provided seed investment to support social innovators since our founding in 1987.

We have invested over $5.2M in advancing the leadership of 86 Echoing Green Fellows working in 31 U.S. States on Black Male Achievement since 2012.

$7.5 Billion

Raised by Fellows in the service of social change.

Our community seeks impact over the long haul.
68% of all Fellows remain in the social sector over time
70% of all Echoing Green-backed organizations are still operating today

In 2020, people worldwide experienced urgent social and environmental events and their impacts. From the COVID-19 pandemic, social and political uprisings, global reckonings with racial inequity, and the continued progression of climate change, the Echoing Green community was there to respond.

Our Fellows have long addressed the root causes of injustice, bringing their proximity and lived experience to drive solutions forward from the frontlines. These leaders are committed to architecting a fair, just, and sustainable world — in turn, Echoing Green accelerated our efforts to unlock funding and make the field more inclusive and supportive of these leaders and their impact.


There are people worldwide with bold ideas who, with the right resources, are ready to make change in their communities. But too many leaders are locked out of receiving support, leaving critical impact on the table.

Building upon years of learnings about our fellowship applicant pool, Echoing Green partnered with The Bridgespan Group to analyze pervasive racial funding disparities in philanthropy. In April 2020, we co-authored a report to share our findings and offer actionable tactics to confront implicit bias, lack of trust, and rigid networks in philanthropy and beyond.

The 492 organizations led by Black applicants raised $40 million overall, compared to $61 million raised by the 396 organizations led by white applicants. Source: Echoing Green 2019 Applicant Pool, U.S.-based applicants

We added our voice calls to address barriers to capital with the urgency it requires, seeking sustained change beyond racial reckonings.

Learn more

“Most capital goes to big NGOs that…don’t really help the very vulnerable. Funders need to support entrepreneurs who are in proximity to the problems. Let’s meet entrepreneurs where they are and help them grow.”

Ruramiso Mashumba, Founder of Mnandi Africa, 2017 Fellow


The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated families and communities all over the world. Early on, our community recognized that the crisis would expose and exacerbate pre-existing inequities across many issues. In response, with the generous support of our funders, we launched our first-ever emergency grant process with an open application to the full Fellow community in the spring of 2020.

Of applicants had less than three months of operating funds remaining

Fellow-led organizations received emergency grants from Echoing Green

So far, we’ve disbursed $332,500 to organizations led by 46 Fellows. Through this process, we’re identifying longer term opportunities to provide follow-on investment to our existing Fellow community.

“We developed three new projects to address the financial, educational, and emotional stressors amid COVID-19: a relief fund for undocumented and mixed-status families, bilingual resource guides and laptop drives to help students, as well as virtual convenings and healing workshops during this severe isolation.”

Reyna Montoya, Founder of Aliento, 2017 Fellow


This year, Echoing Green invested $2.5M in seed-funding to 68 Fellows in our 2018 and 2019 classes. These transformational social change leaders from around the globe are launching their social enterprises and catalyzing our investment into bold impact.

Additional funds raised by Fellows to deepen their social impact

Constituents served through better healthcare, education, and more



While our search for the newest class of Fellows launched in fall 2019, we officially selected the 2020 class this summer. These 13 Fellows were selected from a pool of 3,134 applicants working in 161 countries. Each innovator brings their insight, lived experience, and expertise to create the hope and solutions we need, right now, for a truly equitable and sustainable future.

Meet the 2020 Class

Echoing Green is raising $50 million for a new Racial Equity Philanthropic Fund. Beginning in 2021, we will launch our work to:

  • Launch and scale 500 social enterprises focused on racial equity in the U.S. and globally.
  • Build onramps to social innovation for 5,000 leaders focused on racial equity.
  • Create opportunities for engagement in the movement for racial equity for 10,000 corporate employees.

We are grateful to our current supporters of the Racial Equity Philanthropic Fund, which includes lead commitments from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, BlackRock, Mackenzie Scott, Skoll Foundation, and Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation.

As we collectively move into the new year, the work ahead must center on reimagining systems and deeply supporting solutions our society needs. With proximate leadership at the helm of rebuilding and reimagining what is possible, we can ensure that an equitable and resilient recovery agenda will translate into sustained action and impact.


Our deepest thanks to all our supporters, including the following donors and partners who contributed to our work in FY20 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020).

FY20 Financials

$500,000 AND UP


$100,000 AND UP

Ajay and Debbie Nagpal
Carter and Stephanie McClelland
Guggenheim Partners
Mai Family Foundation
McCance Foundation
Steve and Roberta Denning
The MasterCard Impact Fund
TPG Capital, L.P.
William R. Kenan Charitable Trust
William Randolph Hearst Foundations
ZOOM Foundation

$25,000 AND UP

American Express Foundation
American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact
Bainum Family Foundation
Bloomberg L.P.
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Dan Weiss and Amy Berkower Weiss
David and Lisa Issroff
Ford Foundation
Fossil Foundation
Godley Family Foundation
Guy and Kitty de Chazal
Jerome and Mary Vascellaro
John and Gwen Smart Foundation
John Burchett
Josh Mailman and Monica Winsor
Larry and Gayle Wieseneck
Marc and Stacey Saiontz
Marie Kelly
Mario Morino
Maurice Amado Foundation
Maya Ajmera and David Hollander
Newman’s Own Foundation
Noah Walley
Peggy Segal and David Topper
Pershing Square Foundation
Project Redwood
Robb and Jenny Vorhoff
Steve Malkenson
T. Rowe Price Associates Foundation Inc.
The Moody’s Foundation
Trevor and Lee Ganshaw
Union Square Advisors
Vikram Akula

We are grateful for the generous partnership of all our donors who make our work possible.

Back to top

Leave a reply

Your comment has been submitted and is awaiting approval.