Co-Impact Announces $80 million in Grants Aimed at Improving the Lives of 9 million People in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America

January 15, 2019

Co-Impact collaborative includes core partners Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skoll, The Rockefeller Foundation, and – most recently – Rohini and Nandan Nilekani

LONDON, January 15, 2019 – Co-Impact announced its first round of grants today to improve education, health, and economic opportunity for an estimated 9 million people over the next five years across Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. The grants total more than US $80 million. This is the first set of grants delivered by Co-Impact, a collaborative partnership founded in late 2017 by Olivia Leland, founding director of The Giving Pledge, and partners including Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skoll, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Rohini and Nandan Nilekani.

Co-Impact works in collaboration with a diverse group of change makers, creating large-scale social impact by employing a systems-based approach. Co-Impact makes long-term investments to help address obstacles and limitations in systems that hamper human progress in the areas of education, health, and economic opportunity.

The first-round grant recipients include:                        

  • Liberia's National Community Health Assistant Program: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and Last Mile Health, alongside other partners, will support the Government of Liberia to scale and strengthen the National Community Health Assistant Program, which is advancing universal health coverage through the deployment of a community health workforce, providing access to primary health services for 1.2 million rural people.
  • The graduation approach to economic opportunity: A global multi-stakeholder effort, involving Jeevika, Fundación Capital, and the Partnership for Economic Inclusion (PEI) hosted by the World Bank, that will enable governments to adapt and scale programs proven to help households sustainably boost their incomes and assets, as a pathway to lift millions of people out of extreme poverty.
  • Project ECHO: A global movement in 34 countries and growing that leverages technology for remote mentoring and group problem-solving; expanding work underway in India to build the capacity of community healthcare providers to treat patients with chronic and complex diseases.
  • Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa: A joint venture between Pratham and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) to support African governments and partners develop locally effective approaches to help all children read and do basic arithmetic, and to develop the essential foundation for lifelong learning.
  • citiesRISE: An initiative creating a global network of mental health friendly cities and communities (starting with Nairobi, Chennai, Bogota, Sacramento and Seattle) and scaling systemic solutions by leveraging the energy and creativity of youth, the speed and reach of technology, and through cross-sectoral collective action.



Co-Impact is also pleased to announce that Rohini and Nandan Nilekani, having served as technical partners since Co-Impact's launch, recently joined the collaborative as Core Partners and are jointly invested in the strategic direction of the effort.

Olivia Leland, Founder and CEO: "At Co-Impact, our guiding mission is to make the biggest difference possible in the lives of millions, and I believe that our impressive first round of program partners are poised to do just that. I am also extremely pleased that Rohini and Nandan Nilekani have joined our group of Core Partners who see the great need – and opportunity – for pooling resources and knowledge to drive large-scale change. Deep collaboration is still a relatively nascent area for philanthropy. Co-Impact and our partners are committed to proving that it not only works but has the potential to drive much greater impact.

Co-Impact is building a global group of funding partners committed to using results-oriented philanthropy to drive meaningful systems change. This growing group includes more than 25 philanthropists, foundations, and other funders representing more than a dozen countries. In addition to our Core Partners, a host of philanthropists and foundations have joined the Co-Impact Community to learn, collaborate, and collectively support initiatives – while a range of donor institutions are also joining as Co-Investors around specific initiatives.

Once an initiative is well-positioned to scale its work to address underlying systemic limitations, the Co-Impact model delivers financial and nonfinancial supports to further empower local or country-based initiatives that are proven to work. This model allows initiatives to plan for growth, activate a coalition of actors, and unlock large-scale change.

Co-Impact's systems change grants typically range from US $10 to $50 million over five years to deliver results for millions of people in a specific country or region. In limited cases, Co-Impact also provides smaller venture grants to promising, earlier-stage opportunities to support program partners in testing and refining their change model.

Each of the grants announced today was selected as part of a rigorous assessment from an initial pool of more than 250 initiatives. Liberia's National Community Health Assistant Program, the graduation approach to economic opportunity, Project ECHO, and Teaching at the Right Level Africa were selected to receive Co-Impact's systems change grants over five years, while citiesRISE is receiving a two-year venture grant.




"Co-Impact is establishing the world's leading social investment platform for philanthropists who have a passion for translating big visions into enduring legacies of good. At its core is the belief that collaboration creates multiplication. By combining the passion, insights, experience, and relational networks of its members to catalyse and accelerate breakthrough social initiatives, Co-Impact will be a testament to the power of collaborative social investing."                        
Richard F. Chandler                        
Founder and Chairman, Chandler Foundation
Co-Impact Core Partner                        


"This kind of philanthropic collaboration focused on multiplying impact by unleashing the power of the collective allows us all to take risks and aim higher than we would individually. Co-Impact offers a platform for philanthropists and social change leaders to advance more fair, just, and functional social systems – efforts that require sustained and committed support."                        
Richard Fahey                        
Interim President, Skoll Foundation
Co-Impact Core Partner                        


"While we are making progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it takes a long time to do this work well – understanding the problem, sourcing innovative solutions, identifying partners, and incorporating feedback. That's what makes the work of Co-Impact so important. Co-Impact connects philanthropists to high-quality opportunities to drive systemic change. This helps solutions get to scale faster, which means they'll have a greater impact on more people's lives. For philanthropists just entering the space, this is a huge head start"                        
Bill and Melinda Gates                        
Co-Chairs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation                        
Co-Impact Core Partner


"The growth of old and new societal problems seems to outpace current solutions. Bold philanthropy and the setting of audacious goals are needed to underwrite social innovation, especially for emergent issues. We strongly align with Co-Impact's endeavour to drive systemic change by unleashing the imagination of various actors in the ecosystem through collaborative approaches. We are proud to be part of this network. We hope to contribute towards enduring impact, and we wish Co-Impact's grantees much success."                        
Rohini & Nandan Nilekani                        
Co-Founders, EkStep Foundation                        
Co-Impact Core Partner


"We live at a time of great optimism thanks to decades-long progress to cut poverty, reduce hunger and save lives from disease and illness. Yet the significant human development challenges that remain require even greater investment. In fact, solving each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals requires $2.5 trillion. By working together as part of Co-Impact's data-driven model, philanthropists and foundations can put their resources and experience behind a set of initiatives that are driving real, measurable change. Co-Impact's first round of grantees are examples of locallybased organizations well-positioned to bring about lasting change for millions around the world."                        
Dr. Rajiv Shah                        
President, The Rockefeller Foundation                        
Co-Impact Core Partner


For more information on Co-Impact and our program partners as well as the full press release, please visit




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