Our Ideas / Publications

We present our own insights as an opportunity for discussion and learning.

As one of the few (and first) seed funders for social entrepreneurs, we see a responsibility to add to the global conversations on selecting for long-term leadership, measurement and evaluation of entrepreneurs and ourselves, and adapting to a changing and increasingly diverse landscape.

2016 Echoing Green Engagement Report

December 2016

We believe that foundations, brands, business leaders, and thoughtful individuals in all sectors have something unique to give to and gain from this inspiring network. Here are the ways Echoing Green supporters contributed to our community in 2016.

Annual Report

A Fellowship Approach to Accelerating Social Entrepreneurs

June 2016

This white paper describes our impact investing inflection cohort pilot to shed light on how and if the model succeeded in enabling the early-stage social entrepreneurs to grow, attract investment, and deliver impact.

Impact Investing, Report

2016 Snapshot of For-Profit and Hybrid Fellowship Applications

March 2016

This snapshot of our 2016 For-Profit and Hybrid Applications offers a glimpse into emerging trends in early-stage social enterprises.

Impact Investing, Data

2015: From All Angles

December 2015

Here are highlights of 2015 when we sought out, activated, and accelerated our dynamic community—and where to track our collective impact in 2016.

Annual Report

Deviation from the Standard: Funding and Supporting Emerging Social Entrepreneurs

October 5, 2015

As the social entrepreneurship field evolves to include innovative profit- and impact-generating models, new types of finance and assistance that support these innovative leaders must also emerge.

Impact Investing, Report

Is a New Purpose Field Afoot? An Overview of Purpose360

September 17, 2015

In 2015, we hosted the world’s first cross-sector purpose convening. Our collective task was to map the beginnings of the field as it exists today, and engage in strategic visioning around how to continue developing the field.

Purpose, Report

Why Purpose Matters: It May Be the Ticket to Social Impact

August 6, 2015

We collaborated with Yale University to empirically explore the societal interest in developing a sense of purpose and how we might measure its progress over time.

Purpose, Report

Breaking Boundaries to Solve Global Development Problems

July 10, 2015

There is no silver bullet to fix societal inequality—the truth is we must unleash a generation of creative thinkers. Published on Skoll World Forum.

Entrepreneurship, Article

Home Is Where the Solutions Are: How Local Leaders Can Drive Change

June 23, 2015

One clear way to drive change is to invest in leaders who have a direct connection to the communities they serve. Published on Forbes / Leadership.

Entrepreneurship, Article

Mind the Gap: It's Time to Change the Investment Timeline for Emerging Social Enterprises

April 5, 2015

Echoing Green is addressing the gaps in support resources for start-up businesses by helping our Fellows become investment ready and creating tools and resources specific to early stage social entrepreneurship. Published on the Skoll World Forum blog.

Impact Investing, Article

2015 Snapshot of For-Profit and Hybrid Fellowship Applications

February 2015

Our Snapshot of 2015 For-Profit and Hybrid Applications offers a glimpse into emerging trends in our social enterprise applications.

Impact Investing, Data

Innovation Starts Here

December 2014

Echoing Green's legacy is investing in innovation, but we are also committed to innovating in our own work. Take a look at the new ideas we put into action in 2014 to deepen and grow our support of big, bold change in the world.

Annual Report

Trends in Seed-Stage Social Entrepreneurship: The Importance of Investing in Emerging Social Entrepreneurs to Build Family Economic Security

December 2014

This essay was published as part of Aspen Institute's Bottom Line: Impact Investing for Economic Mobility in the U.S. Report.

Impact Investing, Article

The Echoing Green Fellowship: Our Philosophy of Fellow Support

October 23, 2014

Although an Individualized Fellow Plan must reflect the unique circumstances of a particular Fellow, we have come to believe that there are at least four basic building blocks of success for any early stage social entrepreneur. Published with support from USAID.

Entrepreneurship, Report

Funding Social Enterprises

June 2014

This set of profiles illustrates how for-profit, nonprofit, and hybrid social enterprises have secured seed and early stage philanthropic and investment capital to build their organizations—including advice and perspectives on fundraising, negotiating, and blending capital from the entrepreneurs and funders.

Impact Investing, Report

2014 Snapshot of For-Profit and Hybrid Fellowship Applications

February 2014

Our Snapshot of 2014 For-Profit and Hybrid Applications offers a glimpse into emerging trends in our social enterprise applications.

Impact Investing, Data

Year of Impact 2013: A Foundation for Social Transformation

December 2013

In 2013, Echoing Green’s work was driven by our goals to deepen support to our Fellows, incubate a movement of young people seeking to discover their unique path to social change, share our twenty-five year perspective with the sector at large, and fortify our own capacity for growth.

Annual Report

The Echoing Green Fellowship: Building a Lifelong Fellow Community

November 5, 2013

Echoing Green has built an extraordinary network of social entrepreneurs by selecting and supporting emerging talent for a two-year fellowship. We believe that we can also play an important long-term role in supporting these leaders to achieve even greater social impact.

Entrepreneurship, Report

The Echoing Green Fellowship: Identifying Promising Leaders

October 3, 2013

Our investments come at the end of rigorous diligence process using a common rubric of eight criteria for success that we have developed and refined over decades.

Entrepreneurship, Report

The Sun Does Arise...25 Years Pioneering Social Change

December 2012

After a quarter century of pioneering social change, we continue to catalyze emerging leaders with bold new ideas. By investing in their potential, we ensure that the sun will always arise on the Echoing Green.

Annual Report

In Search of the Hybrid Ideal

Summer 2012

This article was co-authored by Echoing Green and researchers from Harvard Business School as part of the first large-scale quantitative study of early-stage social entrepreneurs.

Impact Investing, Article

Not Everyone Should Be a Social Entrepreneur

July 19, 2012

Social entrepreneurs alone cannot change the world. It’s time for those of us in this field to help young people see the variety of ways and venues in which they can have a social impact. Published on Harvard Business Review.

Purpose, Article

Work on Purpose


When passion drives your choices and your talents shine, opportunities abound. But you can't get there if you don't know where or how to start. This book follows five Echoing Green Fellows to see how they dug deep and made their way.

Purpose, Book