In 2017, the GB Canada board of directors appointed Terry Gray as the Executive Director to restructure GB Canada to join a movement of social architects who are committed to maximizing the impact of social programs. In this process, GB Canada changed its name to Impact Bridges Group. As a not-for-profit, Impact Bridges Group builds bridges with leading actors in innovative financing, management consulting, and others who can help improve development results for the poor and marginalized. It also builds bridges with implementing organizations who prioritize program efficiency, which means maximizing the impact of existing and future programs.
In part, Impact Bridges Group prioritizes improving efficiency and distributive justice because of the large gap between existing financial resources for development and the resources needed by developing countries to provide essential social services.
The cost of solving social problems such as malnutrition, water borne diseases, education, housing and others runs in the trillions of dollars while global philanthropy and government aid budgets combined are in the billions.
In all sectors, there is a gap between the need for funding and the philanthropic, charity, and donor funding available. This situation was clearly articulated at forums being held world-side including the G7 Impact Investing Global Steering Group meetings.
Traditionally, the development community would advocate donors for increased funding, as well as, design new marketing products to increase philanthropic giving. This should be pursued, but a prerequisite to doing so should be to make sure those resources will be used in the most efficient manner, and are targeted towards the most vulnerable. Only then can optimum impact be achieved. Otherwise, the inefficiencies are wasting valuable resources.
It’s important to assess the design of projects in order to make sure the highest attainable level of social benefits is achieved and are allocated justly amongst stakeholders. When organizations are committed to achieving efficiency (maximizing net benefits) and equity (distributive justice) they have secured a mindset that can then take previously insurmountable problems, and look at them through a new lens. One of the lens will be innovative financing which is largely built on efficiency.
These larger pools of resources, that will be the main source of funding the gap, will come from major financial institutions and capital markets. For this to occur, the tradeable financing instruments will need to be developed that integrate measurement systems along with social impacts and financial risk.
Knowing the changes that are taking place, Impact Bridges Group approaches project assessments and financing of development programs with a different mindset and strategy. As such, we seek out implementing partners committed to continual improvement and with demonstrated track records to tap into new financing models. This pool of partners needs to grow and IBG is passionate about working with implementing partners who are committed to achieving high-impact, but have yet to develop a robust track record.
IBG wants to work with like-minded partners in making a significant contribution towards solving the world’s biggest social problems. To do so, will require every tool at our disposal. Charitable donations, government aid, and philanthropic giving will all be important, but the emphasis must be on how these funds are used and not primarily in securing them.
As part of its own efforts to improve efficiency Impact Bridges Group works with strategic partners in delivering services and implementing programs.