Scaling Impact

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E50: The Evidence-Based Approach to Non-Profit Impact and Funding with GreenLight Fund’s Margaret Hall

This episode, Co-Founder and CEO of The GreenLight Fund Margaret Hall talks about what makes a non-profit successful, how non-profits can avoid restrictive funding, and how she prepares organizations to deliver their mission effectively.

Margaret Hall is the CEO and Co-Founder of The GreenLight Fund which raises and invests funds to open opportunities for children, youth, and families facing barriers to prosperity through an innovative, locally-driven approach that targets social innovations where they are needed most

The GreenLight Fund currently operates in ten cities and is expanding at a rate of one community per year. Across its sites, the GreenLight Fund’s portfolio now consists of 44 high-performing nonprofits that reached more than 565,000 children, youth, and families facing barriers to economic mobility this past year alone.

Before co-founding the GreenLight Fund, Margaret was a Fellow at the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and earlier served as Associate Director of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, where she launched the public policy program. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Scaling Impact:

  • How to prepare organizations to deliver their mission effectively.
  • Ways to engage people in an enterprise.
  • How to fund organizations to help them be impactful.
  • The different ways of measuring impact.
  • The importance of taking an evidence-based result-orientated approach.
  • How non-profits can avoid restrictive funding.
  • What makes a non-profit successful.


Connect with Margaret Hall:

Connecting with the host:


  • 8:10 – “What we want for our communities is impact, for residents who are navigating poverty and have identified ways they need support navigating out of poverty and so impact for us means measurable observable change. So if the issue that’s been identified is college persistence and graduation we don’t want to know just how many people are participating in a program, we want to know how many people are actually staying in college because of the program and graduating from college because of the program, so we do that in a couple of ways.”
  • 13:27 – “We want to be as effective as we can with where the investments going so we should be able to leverage things that we see elsewhere even outside the non-profit sector in terms of what delivering those results ultimately looks like so I love the evidence-based approach because that can really boil it down into the numbers that say where have we really been able to drive impact drive impact and as such which have been the most effective that may also be warranted for additional investment into that to drive even greater results.” 
  • 17:40 – “Even the best non-profits with great leadership, great models, well executed, evidence that they’re working, don’t necessarily get where they’re needed they don’t spread and scale at the level that we need to have the kind of impact across the country and cities across the country at the level that we need them and a big part of that is you can build capacity at the national organization to scale out but when you hit a community all the dynamics at the community level are at play, you don’t know folks there this is a very relationship-oriented enterprise, funding is based on relationships partnerships are based on trust and relationships at the local level.”