Published on June 18, 2014
The Erol Foundation has been actively seeking ways to deepen its investment in extreme poverty alleviation. Last year, Erol worked with Amplifier Strategies to identify leading organizations and approaches with promising results. We funded a year of intensive research, traveled to see the work first-hand and met many committed people along the way.
As a result of the research and our travels, we were introduced to BRAC, a poverty alleviation organization with a forty-year history in the field and a proven ultra poor graduation program to bring women and families out of the harshest conditions of poverty. After initiating a dialogue with BRAC, the Erol Foundation made an initial grant in 2013 to support BRAC and its work with the graduation approach.
Now, Erol is taking the next step to advance the graduation approach. In June, along with partner Amplifier Strategies, the Erol Foundation will host the launch of the Collaborative to End Ultra Poverty at a special event on June 23rd in Brussels, Belgium.
“Both my husband and I wanted to become more involved in our philanthropy and build a long and lasting impact with the Erol Foundation, but we weren’t sure where to focus longterm efforts. Working with Amplifier really helped us to find a theme that we were passionate about. Traveling in India and seeing the work of amazing organization on the ground reinforced for us the fact that we wanted to tackle the issue of extreme poverty as our first Initiative.”
— Julie Lépinard, Co-founder, Erol Foundation
The Erol Foundation sees this as a rare and exciting role for itself and for family foundations like it. Like larger funding institutions, family foundations have a fervent vision for large-scale change; however, due to their size, foundations like Erol are often limited to funding one project at a time. The Collaborative provides a framework for pooling money and resources, positioning smaller foundations as a force to drive a fundamental shift on a global issue and, through partnership, influence larger institutions to join the movement.
“The philanthropists we partner with at Amplifier Strategies are passionate, creative people who see the greater need and who want to fund breakthrough innovations that will have a lasting impact. Their amazing level of commitment to the issues means that together, we can do great things.”
— Allison Duncan, Founder and CEO, Amplifier Strategies
When supported by a compendium of family foundations, the Collaborative can demonstrate the value of graduation programs and give governments, institutional funders and businesses the confidence they need to take up the approach and bring it to global scale.
The Erol Foundation invites other interested philanthropists to join the Collaborative to End Ultra Poverty and help catalyze a movement to advance the graduation program, ensuring that the world’s poorest people are not forgotten as we work to end global poverty.
To learn more about the launch of the Collaborative Initiative, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE (2016): The Collaborative is in its next stage of development, and has relaunched to the public as Uplift, a collaborative initiative to end extreme poverty in this lifetime.