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Established OrganizationS

Investing in Tomorrow's Established Organizations

Philanthropic funding is generated for disbursement to beneficiary organizations whose founders have risked all to bring aid to communities in need, but who need a capital infusion in order to stabilize or progress. In many ways, Geneve Skye is providing “gap funding” that will give the organization's founders a reprieve from the financial stresses of initial capitalization long enough to assess long-term self-sustaining revenue models.

At this time in history, we have the advantage of experiencing the institutionalized benefits to communities from thriving organizations such as The Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Teach for America. However, each of these organizations—and others—once traversed a rocky startup phase. Their founders overcame the odds, but in many cases the personal sacrifice was immeasurable.

Alleviating the Overwhelm

For each of these benchmark organizations, many others with proven community solutions have failed to make the transition from startup to self-sustaining, established community providers, whose services are a dependable part of the our present culture.

As an example, the founder of The Red Cross became so intent on executing a solution to helping the wounded neglected on the battlefield that he was forced to declare personal bankruptcy. A Swiss businessman, he could not maintain the profitability of his business while launching his relief organization. As a result of this failure, the man who brought us The Red Cross was exiled from his home in Geneva, Switzerland, never to return. The personal price he and others have paid to found organizations with widespread societal impact is incalculable. 

Alleviating the common overwhelm that enterprising founders face today, brings a hope and sustainable foundation for bringing far-reaching help for tomorrow.

The Red Cross (Est. 1863)

Up until the middle of the 19th century, there were no organized and well-established army nursing systems for casualties, and no safe and protected institutions to accommodate and treat those wounded on the battlefield. On a business trip to Italy, a Swiss businessman unexpectedly came face-to-face with the atrocities of war. In a small Italian town, at the end of a raging battle, a collective 40,000 soldiers died or were left wounded on the field. This founder abandoned the initial reason for his trip to help the wounded. Upon his return home his efforts to address this atrocity resulted in the establishment of both The Geneva Convention and the International Committee of the Red Cross. His efforts to establish the Red Cross resulted in personal bankruptcy, financial exile from his homeland, and the eventual receipt of the first Nobel Peace Prize.

OXFAM (Est. 1942)

The founders’ mission was to alleviate the starvation of citizens in occupied Greece during WWII. Moved with compassion, a group of Quakers, Oxford Academics and social activists—operating as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief—came together to convince the British government to allow food relief through the Allied blockade. Their once singular mission has grown into a global movement with more than 3,000 local partner organizations.

The Salvation Army (Est. 1865)

A London minister gave up the comfort of his pulpit and decided to take his message into the streets where it could reach the poor, homeless, hungry and destitute. The organization grew slowly, but Booth provided aid out in the field while his wife spoke to the wealthy, gaining financial support. The Army now provides aid within 117 countries, going where the need is the greatest, and bringing aid to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting their physical needs first, then their spiritual needs. The Salvation Army’s positive reputation in the U.S. was cemented after providing disaster relief efforts after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

Feeding America - America’s Second Harvest (Est. 1976)

A retired businessman started volunteering at a local soup kitchen when a patron shared her personal story of gathering perfectly edible food for her family from grocery store garbage bins. His enterprising response to her observation resulted in the creation of America’s first food bank, which launched nationwide when the soup kitchen was awarded a federal grant to assist in the development of food banks across the nation.

Habitat for Humanity (Est. 1976)

The concept of “partnership housing” that grew into Habitat for Humanity began in 1968 at an interracial, Christian farming community in Georgia when construction commenced on 42 homes. Construction capital was donated from around the country and homes were built and sold to families in need at no profit and no interest. Eight years later in 1976, with domestic and foreign success, the founders formally called upon a group of financial supporters and their altruistic response officially launched Habitat for Humanity International.

ACCION International (Est. 1961)

Started as a student-run volunteer effort, with its first operations in Caracas, Venezuela. At inception, it operated as a Peace Corps-like organization, but then put itself on the pathway to sustainability when it embraced micro lending. As a micro-enterprise, ACCION has been self-sustaining since 1991.

Teach for America (Est. 1990)

As a recent college graduate the founder decided to take her college senior thesis a step further: she would actually put her idea for a national teacher corps into action. She estimated the entire project's start-up costs to be $2.5 million. At the urging of a professor, she contacted executives from several major corporations and asked for them to fund a seed grant. Shot down by almost all, she was finally offered a $26,000 grant from Mobil.