Money attracts more money: How this early childhood education program landed almost $2M

In a space where terminology seems to be one of the biggest barriers to messaging, why should the social impact space pay attention to “venture philanthropy” — yet another phrase that combines a capitalistic practice with its charitable counterpart?

Hold your eye rolls.

Venture philanthropy isn’t new, but it’s definitely on the rise. Here in Philadelphia, the local chapter of GreenLight Fund might be the only organization doing it.

In a nutshell, it’s kind of like raising a round of venture capital but with grants and a leading investor — a funder like GreenLight.

“Our piece is, we’re all about co-investment,” said Executive Director Omar Woodard. “We’ll put our money in, but we’ll put our money in to attract other money.”

That’s what happened earlier this week when GreenLight Fund invested $600,000 over four years in Parent-Child Home Program, a model that focuses on early literacy, parent engagement and school readiness. Read more