In the United States, one of the world’s wealthiest nations, one in five young people lives in poverty. This statistic — which encompasses some 15 million people — has barely shifted over the last decade. At the same time, the national rate of upward mobility has dropped by 40% over the past 50 years. Only half of America’s children will earn more than their parents, perpetuating the cycle of intergenerational poverty for those who start at the bottom of the economic ladder. The challenges these young people and their families face are massive, complex, and persistent.
Young People & Families
To ignore multi-generational poverty is to undermine our nation’s future. Although solutions exist today that put people on the path to economic security, social sector leaders do not have access to the capital necessary to expand these solutions to a scale big enough to move the needle on the complex drivers of poverty affecting young people and families.
Social Sector Leaders
Visionary leaders with evidence-based programs are making a meaningful difference in the lives of young people and families across the country. But without robust growth capital or any market incentive to think big and bold, they cannot deliver their strategies at a national scale.
Nonprofit leaders need capital to scale up their programs, and there are philanthropists ready and willing to invest in them. Unfortunately, the market for social sector investment lacks sufficient infrastructure, which means philanthropists have no efficient means to deploy large amounts of capital toward high-impact solutions that are ready to scale.
Why We Do This Work
Blue Meridian Partners seeks to transform the life trajectories of young people and families in poverty.Learn More About Our Mission
Solutions exist to the challenges that trap young Americans and families in poverty. But even the most promising solutions cannot reach far enough, fast enough without significant, long-term investment—the kind that that no one investor can take on by themselves.
Blue Meridian unlocks substantial philanthropic capital and invests it in visionary social sector leaders so they can look to the long term and dramatically amplify their reach and influence. We provide significant, flexible capital to allow leaders to expand evidence-based solutions that target the key drivers of poverty. Within each of our five portfolios, we invest in scaling nationwide and place-based impact that provides pathways out of poverty for young people and families. We believe our pioneering approach offers new opportunities for three key stakeholders.
Young People & Families
We recognize that the causes and drivers of poverty are complex and multifaceted; there is no single intervention that can help young people and families access economic opportunity. We invest across domains in order to provide varied supports to assist young people and families at different ages or stages of life and help them overcome barriers to economic mobility.
Social Sector Leaders
We empower visionary leaders with evidence-based strategies to aim higher, think bigger and achieve greater impact. We trust the ideas and instincts of social sector leaders to know what is needed for the communities and people they serve. To propel their efforts, Blue Meridian provides investments that are right-sized, long-terms, and flexible, so that these leaders can meet the scale of the problem they address with adequate resources.
We partner with investors to pool their philanthropic resources and invest more effectively and efficiently than any of us could alone. This model unlocks the flow of large sums of capital aimed at boosting economic mobility – we make strategic, long-term investments of $100 million or more in each initiative – and investors share the costs, risks and successes.
Blue Meridian uses the Blueprint 7 approach to find and fund the scalable solutions to the problems that trap young people and families in poverty. For over two decades the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, and now Blue Meridian Partners, have tested and refined this broadly applicable approach for pooling and investing philanthropic capital.
Social sector leaders and their organizations are the agents of change in communities, and philanthropists approach the partnership with an “investor mindset.”
All parties embrace the social sector leaders’ vision for greater impact and have confidence in their ability to execute it.
Have a complete picture of the social sector leader and strategy, having weighed and balanced a track record of past results, evidence, capacity, and future plans.
Planning as a Roadmap
Support leaders in the creation of robust plans to realize their vision, which then serve as a roadmap for all stakeholders (and as a bedrock for shared accountability).
Investments are long-term, unrestricted capital and commensurate with need, with investors aligned on performance metrics derived from the leaders’ and organization’s plan.
Together, social sector leaders and philanthropists track and assess performance, taking into account multiple indicators — from growth to organizational effectiveness to program quality.
Leaders and philanthropists collaborate openly and honestly, and troubleshoot challenges together, with philanthropists as active partners rather than passive funders.