Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Announces Strategic Partnership with Bain Capital

Apr 20, 2021


$4 Million Commitment from Bain Capital to Scale Positive Impact Nationwide in Partnership with Communities

Strategic Partnership to Deepen Nonprofit’s Social Impact and Expand National Reach; Bain Capital Co-Managing Partner John Connaughton to Join National Board of Directors 

BOSTON – April 20, 2021 – GreenLight Fund, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of community need and social innovation to open economic mobility opportunities for children and families living in poverty, today announced a $4 million commitment from Bain Capital’s partners to deepen the organization’s impact across its current network of ten cities and scale to expand across the country. In the 12-month period ending in June 2020, GreenLight reached more than 325,000 children and families with innovative programs addressing issues which often stem from longstanding racial inequities including early childhood literacy, college access and persistence, teacher effectiveness, poor health outcomes, family economic mobility, and youth aging out of foster care.

As part of this new strategic partnership with Bain Capital, one of the world’s leading multi-asset private investment firms, GreenLight will leverage the firm’s network of talent, business partners and portfolio companies to advance the mission to improve outcomes for young people and families facing persistent challenges. Bain Capital Co-Managing Partner John Connaughton will also join GreenLight’s National Board of Directors.

Founded by venture capitalist John Simon and nonprofit effectiveness expert Margaret Hall, GreenLight partners across all sectors of the community to address unmet needs that have the potential to create significant new opportunities for children, youth and families. The organization identifies innovative models that are showing measurable results in addressing those needs across the country, and, after a thorough due diligence process, selects a proven program that is the best fit for the city where it’s needed. This community-driven, collaborative approach is repeated each year in GreenLight cities in a process which ensures that one pressing issue is tackled annually in each location. To ensure long term sustainability and local success, GreenLight facilitates partnerships, provides start-up capital and hands-on support, and regularly assesses progress against targets.

“This new partnership represents an important milestone for GreenLight as we continue to make real progress on dismantling deep-rooted racial and economic disparities with innovative entrepreneurial programs that are rooted at the local level,” said Simon, who serves as GreenLight’s Board Chair. “We are so thankful for Bain Capital’s support, which will have a huge impact on so many children and families. To scale effectively, our portfolio organizations often require additional financial resources, on-the-ground support and networking capabilities. Adding a partner of Bain Capital’s caliber to our mission-focused coalition of community, government and business leaders will allow us to scale our reach and national footprint more quickly and effectively as we seek to bring proven programs that drive lasting impact and create opportunities for all children and families to thrive.”

Since launching in Boston in 2004, GreenLight has expanded its network to nine other cities including Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Twin Cities, with several other additional cities planned over the next few years as individuals reached by the programs the organization brings to communities continues to grow.

“GreenLight is combatting some of the most intractable social issues facing communities today,” said Connaughton. “I have personally seen the impact of their work as a community catalyst over many years in Boston and see great potential to address pressing needs in my home city of Baltimore. I share with all of my colleagues GreenLight’s commitment to real progress in addressing racial equity and economic challenges. Bain Capital is excited to work with John, Margaret, and their growing network of social entrepreneurs to commit our time, energy and financial resources to help the organization scale its innovative model and reach more under-resourced children and families.”

Bain Capital brings a unique set of skills and capabilities to GreenLight as the firm joins a growing list of the organization’s national sponsors including Bank of America, Deloitte, and iHeartMedia, Inc., as well as a deep roster of local partners like Ford Motor Company and Aptiv in Detroit and Okta and Grammarly in the Bay Area. To date, GreenLight has invested more than $24 million in local organizations in ten cities across its network, and leveraged an additional $132 million in other contributions.

“Our vision is to create a national network of GreenLight Fund sites working together and learning from each other to make needed change in communities and accelerate the spread of programs proven to lower barriers to economic mobility for children and families,” added Hall, who serves as GreenLight’s Chief Executive Officer. “With Bain Capital’s support, resources and community partnership expertise, we are another step closer to achieving that vision.”