TLDR: Given Charity Entrepreneurship’s recent scaling, we are changing our brand to call our extended ecosystem “Ambitious Impact (AIM).” Our new AIM umbrella brand will include the classic CE program as well as recent additional programs connected to grantmaking, research, and effective giving. We are also planning to launch new programs soon. We feel AIM being able to create onramps for other career paths (similar to what we have done for nonprofit entrepreneurship) is the most plausible way of doubling our impact.
A quick history of Charity Entrepreneurship
- Inspired by the early success of a few nonprofits identified by evaluators such as GiveWell, we decided to take a systematic approach to researching and then launching new impact-focused nonprofits (Charity Science Health, Fortify Health).
- After some initial successes, Charity Entrepreneurship was started in 2018 as a formal Incubation Program to get more field-leading charities started.
- 31 projects were founded over five years, with an approximate growth of ten nonprofits a year in the upcoming year.
- In 2023, CE extended its impact through the Impactful Grantmaking program (potentially impacting up to $10M in funding in its first year).
- In late 2023, CE internally determined the best way to maximize our impact further would be to grow horizontally, focusing on programs for several career paths (e.g., launching a Research Training Program and Effective Giving Incubation).
That takes us to about now, where Charity Entrepreneurship is still our topline brand and identity; however, we have a growing number of impact-focused programs that are not connected to directly founding a nonprofit.
What will AIM look like going forward
Our plan is to have a more cross-cutting umbrella brand that will represent our impact-focused ecosystem, with all our programs under one brand.
What do we expect to change?
- Names and websites of the new programs. For example, some will be soon renamed (e.g., so “Impactful Grantmaking” will become “AIM Grantmaking.”)
- All of our other programs will be moved off the CE site onto their own domains.
- We will also create a few more centralized resources that cross-cut our programs (e.g., we will have an AIM blog instead of one for each program and a joint newsletter).
You can also expect us to launch more new programs (with the next one launching in late 2024)
What do we expect to stay the same?
- In short, most things.
- We still plan on keeping the same values and ways of working.
- We expect that most of our resources will continue to go into our Charity Entrepreneurship program for the foreseeable future.
- The Charity Entrepreneurship Incubation Program brand/website/newsletter will all continue, as well as other twice-yearly programs.
- We are not making major personnel or staffing changes and do not expect AIM to change dramatically in staff size.
Why we are launching AIM
Creating more good in the world: Ultimately, AIM’s goal is to have the most impact while tackling the biggest world problems. Although we feel the career path of founding a nonprofit is among the highest impact ones, we also think we can contribute a lot to building other career pathways. We noticed this area as a gap in the ecosystem and feel like filling it is one of the best ways to cause more good in the world.
Talent absorbency: This change indicates our long-term direction, with multiple programs serving impact-minded individuals. We have noticed more and more talented people who, although they might not be a perfect fit for the CE Incubation Program, would excel in adjacent programs. We are aware that nonprofit entrepreneurship is ultimately a low-absorbency career path.
Limiting factor: Our pilot programs in grantmaking and research have both been promising enough that we feel there would be more impact in running programs like these as opposed to, e.g., graduating 20 charities a year via the CE program. We think that at some point in the near future, the limiting factor for how many new charities we can launch will be how the broader philanthropic ecosystem operates and not a specific aspect that CE could directly improve (e.g., increased outreach, seed funding, or research production).
Ecosystem contribution: As we grow, we feel increasingly responsible for contributing to the broader philanthropic ecosystem in more interdisciplinary ways. For example, the CE Incubation Program’s current net result on the ecosystem is turning funding into direct impact. Although we are happy with this trade, we would also like to contribute in other ways. For instance, our grantmaking program results in more money going into the broader effective nonprofit ecosystem. We think our work with CE has enabled us to set up some significant pathways to impact that would not be as easy for a newer organization to create.
CE has a winning formula, and emotionally, it does not feel like moving from 1 to 2 is as important as going from 0 to 1. However, impact scales differently in practice than how it feels. We feel that enabling individuals to go into impactful career paths (similar to what we have done in the CE program) is the most plausible way of doubling our impact. We now get hundreds of applications from very talented candidates who are not quite a perfect fit for the CE Incubation Program, and we strongly believe there are other highly impactful career paths for them. We feel we are in a strong position to create this pathway and knock down some barriers that would otherwise stop people from having the highest impact.
So we are going to do it.
If you want to learn more about AIM and our various programs, visit our website:
[VISIT AIM WEBSITE]