Our Selection Criteria

Blue Meridian identifies, researches, and vets outstanding strategies for young people and families in poverty. We assess each strategy according to key criteria.

Selection Criteria

Blue Meridian invests in promising solutions that can have significant impact at scale on boosting economic mobility among young people and families in poverty. We conduct our own extensive research to identify promising strategies and maintain an active pipeline for investment.

Key to our performance-based investment approach is a rigorous selection process that applies seven criteria to the vetting of all prospects.

Compelling Vision

The strategy pursues solutions to important social problems that inhibit economic and social mobility among the affected populations or communities served by the organization. There is an ambitious vision for achieving scale, which is defined as significant reach, impact, and influence.

Strong Leadership

A visionary, capable leader and leadership team, including the board, have the skills and experience to lead the organization through transformative growth. The organization has built or is actively building a leadership team that reflects the communities it serves in terms of race and/or lived experience.

Racial Equity

There is clear and demonstrated commitment to racial equity. The strategy and model have been developed and are implemented with an understanding of the impact of structural racism on the outcomes the organization seeks to achieve.

Track Record of Performance

There is a history of strong performance, with indicators of potential success in scaling efforts at a level that is meaningful within the context of the population(s) the organization serves. The organization has demonstrated capabilities needed to advance its theory of change and is prepared to build capabilities essential to its long-term health.

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is a combination of baseline external evidence (including underlying evidence supporting the theory of change), a commitment to future evaluation that meets rigorous, yet practical, standards, and a performance management culture of learning and continuous improvement. This evidence, when viewed holistically and disaggregated by race, shows potential for meaningful outcomes at scale.

Pathway to Scale

There are clear pathways or channels to achieve scale (defined as reach, impact, or influence) and enable meaningful market penetration in the U.S. (or the respective region). Indicators suggest that the organization can leverage this channel.

Sustainable Economic Model

There is a reasonable hypothesis that significant philanthropic growth capital can catalyze scale and lead to one of two outcomes: either renewable and reliable revenue sources will cover ongoing operational costs or an organization’s work will no longer be necessary (e.g., as a result of fundamental system change).