GIF investments chosen in philanthropist’s funding round.

Nov 21, 2022

Five GIF investments have been selected to receive funds from American philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in her latest $12 billion giveaway. Scott’s announcement praised the use of funds as a means to get money to “a diverse group of smaller organisations”.

She said: “Of special note is that many of the organizations are funds. For anyone similarly interested in supporting the leadership of people from the communities they’re assisting, funds are a great resource. They pool donations and spread them across a diverse group of smaller organizations working toward a common cause. The funds we picked look for teams with lived experience in the issues they’re addressing, as we did when selecting the other non-profits in this giving cycle, and the 1,200+ recipients before them, many of which are also funds.”

IPA, PATH, Praekelt, Evidence Action and Educate! (all GIF investments) were all amongst Scott’s choices. The success and promise of these enterprises, now also recognised by Scott, underlines the importance of investing in early-stage, innovative ventures.

Educate!, a skills-based educational programme in Uganda and Rwanda with an innovation curriculum of training, mentorship, and clubs, will receive $12 million investment towards its project Vision 2025 – a bold $44 million plan to increase employment and economic opportunity for 400,000 new youth and expand Educate!’s annual impact by 400%. In 2016, GIF gave the business a $300,000 grant to support the testing, expansion, and government adoption of its programmes.

The charity said: “We know this is just the beginning. The stakes are high as each day more young people enter the labour market and struggle to build their livelihoods with skills mismatched to a 21st-century economy. We need all hands on deck in responding to the youth skills and employment crisis. Together, we can leverage the momentum of this new investment to untap the limitless power and potential of Africa’s youth.”

Praekelt’s CEO praised Scott’s “trust-based philanthropy” which “will allow us to leverage our 15 years of experience in scaling and replicating digital health programmes to reach more people at critical moments in their health journey. We will also be able to expand our support to health workers who serve under-resourced communities – ensuring healthier, more empowered citizens and improved health systems. Through the gift, we will continue to improve our platforms, expand our content repositories, strengthen our implementations, improve our measurement frameworks, deepen the capacity of our local stakeholders for increased sustainability, and expand to new countries.” GIF awarded a grant of $500,000 to Praekelt and IDinsight for their work on HealthConnect relating to Covid-19.

This funding round is an excellent example of how crowding-in works. This is the idea that an increase in government spending and investment will lead to an expansion of economic activity (or real GDP). This in turn incentivises private sector firms to raise their own levels of capital investment and employment. Essentially, public investment leads to an increment in private investment, as we have seen here, and this rise in private investment is thus more effective.