GreenLight Fund Cincinnati Landscape Analysis

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GreenLight Fund





Organization Overview:

 The GreenLight Fund helps transform the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to: 

  • Identify critical needs
  •  Import innovative, entrepreneurial programs that can have a significant, measurable impact, and
  • Galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact in the new city

We envision a national network of GreenLight Fund cities, working together and learning from each other to harness the vision and ambition of social entrepreneurs and accelerate the spread of proven programs that make lasting change for children, youth and families.

Our Values: In everything we do, GreenLight Fund is guided by the following core values: Collaborative, Committed to Excellence, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Focused on Sustainability, Innovation, and Rooted in Community.

Project Name:

GreenLight Fund Cincinnati Landscape Analysis
Project Type: 
Policy Analysis

Project Overview:

Selecting a GreenLight Investment –one that has the potential to have a real impact on low-income families in our Communities, while thriving and growing itself –is an investment; and like any investment, it takes due diligence to get it right. Before investing, we take the time to ensure each GreenLight Investment will be a strong, sustainable addition to our community and their model is sound. Our approach, the GreenLight Method, is a five-part, rigorous process that includes in-depth research, funding and expertise to select, launch and sustain our Investments. In each GreenLight Community, we start by organizing a GreenLight Local Advisory Council to act as an expert partner and sounding board. These advisors are experts who are deeply involved in their communities and provide invaluable insight  throughout the process. The steps of the GreenLight Method include:

  1.       We Discover: We assess the local landscape for opportunities for transformation.
  2.       We Scout: We search forthe most innovative and successful nonprofits in the nation.
  3.       We Select: Every year,we select a new GreenLight Investment for each GreenLight Community.
  4.       We Invest: We provide funding, community connections, and strategic advice to ramp up our Investments.
  5.       We Measure: We produce a GreenLight Impact Report documenting how our Investments are addressing, and impacting, the needs we identified in their community and how we can improve our efforts.

We have one goal –to address unmet needs to create transformational opportunities for low-income families. By definition, our mission of addressing unmet needs means that we do not get to choose our focus –rather, we discover it through research, conversations with community leaders and emerging community-wide priorities and initiatives. Our goal is to address unmet needs in our communities with innovative solutions that can be the pivot point for low-income families to improve their life outcomes. GreenLight Fund is about pinpointing investments where they are needed, not about funding our preferences. The GreenLight Method, our methodical research process, allows us to discover unmet needs that, without fast, effective intervention, will continue to impair the progress of low-income families.


The capstone student will complete of the discovery/landscape assessment phase in the GreenLight Method. This would involve researching potential investment opportunities / programs throughout the country that show the most poverty-alleviation potential for Cincinatti and then making a recommendation for a national non-profit or program that could launch in Cincinatti as part of the GreenLight portfolio. This work would be done in conjunction with GreenLight staff.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326