SCE is a different kind of foundation, moving beyond the walls of tradition to explore new areas of impact, create unlikely partnerships, and find points of leverage.
How We Work:
Our grantmaking style is rooted in venture philanthropy and social impact investing principles. We spend time getting smart and developing strategies for targeting the “white spaces” in our areas of interest, evaluating both risk and opportunity. We then proactively build strong partnerships with like-minded grantees on high-level, high-impact projects. We work at the system-wide level with a keen awareness of the person-to-person dynamics that shape sectors and influence markets.
We aspire to become a hub for ideas, people, services, and innovation in the service of public good. The funding we do is just one element of the process. We aim to unleash talent, activate diverse networks, and influence the way markets function across fields and sectors. Rather than imposing strict agendas, we offer support—both financial and strategic—to take outstanding work to a new level.
The Challenge model leverages the power of the competitive process to surface novel solutions to seemingly intractable problems. We use the Challenge model to cast a wider net and surface a greater variety of creative solutions than is possible with traditional grantmaking. Rather than seek predetermined solutions, we use this funding model to invite a broad range of potential partners to present compelling solutions for the gaps and white spaces we identify in our areas of interest.
We also approach grantmaking through:
- Clustering grants into smaller initiatives, each with their own logic model.
- Partnership with other foundations and thought leaders to strengthen existing work.
- Continuous learning and recalibration.
Photos © Digital Harbor Foundation and the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology