Whether it’s social entrepreneurs or social justice leaders, impact investors or philanthropists, or business leaders who want to use their acumen to guide the nonprofit sector—Echoing Green catalyzes the ability of leaders with purpose to drive social progress further, faster. 

History of Echoing Green

For the last 30 years, we have worked to find rare and exceptional leaders, forge a community of global pioneers, and accelerate these leaders to impact the world.

The leadership of General Atlantic, a leading global growth private equity firm, began considering ways to maximize their philanthropic impact. Inspired by Chuck Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies, they predicted that the venture capital investment model they employed so effectively at General Atlantic could also be utilized to drive social change.

In 1987, General Atlantic officially launched Echoing Green, naming it after a William Blake poem about creating a better world. They supported our first promising young entrepreneur, Diana Propper de Callejon, to create an alternative economic base for Amazonian residents that was not based on deforestation. Today, General Atlantic continues to be one of Echoing Green’s strongest advocates.

In 2002, Echoing Green Fellow Cheryl L. Dorsey took over the leadership of Echoing Green and reshaped the organization into a global nonprofit. More than a decade later, the Echoing Green Fellowship Programs continue to be Echoing Green’s cornerstone, providing seed funding to social entrepreneurs launching bold new organizations to generate positive systemic change. We believe investing in and supporting the right people relative to the right ideas and ability to execute, rather than specific business plans, results in a lifetime of leadership. 

Echoing Green continues to build a global community of emerging leaders–now over 700 strong–who have launched Teach For America, City Year, One Acre Fund, SKS Microfinance, and hundreds more. Whether it’s through our Fellowships or our other innovative leadership initiatives, we unleash unexpected potential by tracking down the best and the brightest leaders, bringing them together, and launching them on a path to success.