Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Fund Announces $15M American New Cities Fund II

Jun 1, 2022


Enabling expansion to four new cities, deeper impact in 11 current sites, and more robust data, measurement and learning, infrastructure and operational excellence

Boston, MA – June 1, 2022 – The GreenLight Fund today announced the close of its American New Cities Fund II, supporting the strategic growth of the national nonprofit organization that partners with communities to remove barriers to inclusive prosperity by launching and scaling proven programs that meet community-identified needs. Reaching a record $15M with multi-year support from more than 50 national philanthropic investors, GreenLight is in a strong position to realize its 2021-2024 strategic plan, investing in community-driven change in both current and future expansion sites.

“Advancing equity and achieving greater economic mobility are imperatives for families and individuals in communities across our country. GreenLight’s innovative approach toward scaling what works is one of the keys to unlocking opportunity for so many. My partners and I are proud to support this critical mission and look forward to bringing GreenLight’s groundbreaking approach to numerous additional cities while deepening it where it already exists,” said John Connaughton, Co-Managing Partner, Bain Capital and GreenLight Board Member.

“As GreenLight continues to build a national network of sites learning from each other, building on their successes and accelerating the spread of proven programs, we are thrilled to join this coalition of funders,” added Mariann Youniss. “GreenLight’s national infrastructure is a backbone to their effective model supporting sites as they partner locally with communities to sustainably address systemic barriers and open opportunities for individuals and families to thrive.”

GreenLight engages with local communities to address challenges that can make a significant difference in the lives of residents facing barriers to prosperity. Every year, in each GreenLight site, the local team partners with the community to elevate a specific unmet need, find and assess programs with successful track records meeting that need elsewhere and launch a program with the best local fit. GreenLight’s impact across their network increases exponentially every year as they grow their portfolio of best-in-class organizations making measurable progress. To ensure success and long-term sustainability, GreenLight provides multi-year start-up capital and hands-on support, facilitates partnerships and regularly assesses progress against targets.

“All cities could benefit from GreenLight’s unique focus of matching community-identified needs with proven programs that drive results,” added Tim Palmer, GreenLight Fund Board member, American New Cities Fund II Co-chair and Co-founder of Charlesbank Capital Partners. “This Fund, made possible by an incredible coalition of supporters, will enable GreenLight’s approach to reach more communities and, with a strong national infrastructure and local focus, deliver measurable change.”

“The NFL has been a proud supporter of the GreenLight Fund as it makes its way across the country, leaving an impact and legacy in every city,” said Anna Isaacson, NFL Senior VP of Social Responsibility. “The model works, bridging the gaps in our communities which is key to building opportunity and equality for all.”

GreenLight sites are supported by local investor coalitions and 100% of those funds stay in the local community. The American New Cities Fund II leverages the impact for GreenLight’s local investors and sites by providing additional capacity, systems and infrastructure, cross network learnings, best practices and data management through their national operations.

Randi Tepper of The Tepper Foundation said, “We are excited to be a part of this important milestone for GreenLight and look forward to the next significant step towards country-wide impact. GreenLight’s thoughtful, intentional and sustainable approach, in partnership with local stakeholders, is what so many communities need to shift outcomes toward equitable opportunity.”

As part of the American New Cities Fund II, GreenLight has formed several strategic national sponsorships including with Bank of America, Bain Capital, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs Gives, iHeartMedia and The NFL. In addition to their financial contribution, these organizations are lending social capital and resources to strengthen GreenLight’s national and local efforts.

Commenting on the announcement, Stephanie Cohen, global co-head of Consumer and Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs shared, “As a national organization with teams, customers and clients in many of GreenLight’s cities, we saw the potential to help move the needle on some long-standing inequities by supporting GreenLight’s national expansion with our resources, expertise and networks. They have a proven track record of success and we’re pleased to actively support their next phase of growth.”

The American New Cities Fund II, co-chaired by Tom and Gayané Ebling, Tim and Lynne Palmer and John and Susan Simon, includes the following investors: Arrow Impact, Bain Capital, Bank of America, Steve & Deborah Barnes, Josh & Anita Bekenstein, Emma Bloomberg, The Burkehaven Family Foundation, Katie & Paul Buttenwieser, Russ & Judy Carson, Howard P. Colhoun Foundation, John & Stephanie Connaughton, Deloitte, Mike & Debbie Dickerson, Judy & Jamie Dimon, Tom & Gayané Ebling, Goldman Sachs Gives, Jessica & Matt Harris, The Hearst Foundations, Bob & Kristine Higgins, iHeartMedia, Cynthia & Andrew Janower, Stephen Kaufer & Lisa Howe, Marc & Donna Kozin, Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine, Mark & Becky Levin, Phil & Ellie Loughlin, The Lovett-Woodsum Foundation, Paul & Sandra Montrone, The NFL, Stephen & Judy Pagliuca, Tim & Lynne Palmer, Anne & Robert Pedrero, Dwight & Kirsten Poler, The Reeder Foundation, Mark & Etta Rosen, The Satter Foundation, Mackenzie Scott & Dan Jewett, John & Susan Simon, Rob Small & Christine Olsen, Brian & Stephanie Spector, The Tepper Foundation, Jim & Margaret Wade, and Andy & Marianne Youniss.

“We are so thankful for each and every donor making it possible for GreenLight to continue to make progress on removing barriers to inclusive prosperity with innovative, proven programs rooted at the local level,” said John Simon, Co-founder and Board Chair of GreenLight Fund and American New Cities Fund II investor. “Announcing our second national Fund represents a defining moment for GreenLight as we begin to truly realize a national network of locally focused sites working together and learning from each other, resulting in lasting change for children, youth and families.”

Anne Lovett, President, Lovett-Woodsum Foundation and GreenLight Fund Board member shared, “We enthusiastically support spreading this successful approach to more cities across the country. Locally, it can be applied in partnership with communities to address barriers to economic mobility and create meaningful change. GreenLight’s impact in Boston and other cities has proven the unique model works and we look forward to the deeper impact its continued expansion will bring.”

Since 2004, GreenLight has launched 39 proven programs across eleven sites, reaching over 417,000 individuals and families in 2021 alone. During the period of this Fund, GreenLight expects to reach more than a million individuals and families through programs addressing a wide variety of issues including early childhood literacy, college access and persistence, teacher effectiveness, food insecurity, family income and asset-building, community safety and youth aging out of foster care. In addition to GreenLight’s $26M investment in its portfolio organizations to date, their commitment has attracted $169M from other funding sources, supporting the sustainability of models that are making a measurable difference in local communities.

“As we partner with communities to dismantle deep-rooted racial and economic disparities, the American New Cities Fund II is making it possible for us to leverage learnings across our sites to improve and grow, strengthen our national infrastructure and measurement capabilities, and deepen and broaden the impact we’re able to have in each of our local communities,” said Margaret Hall, Co-founder and CEO GreenLight Fund. “We are incredibly grateful for this group of investors who believe in the promise of community-driven change.”

Tom Ebling, GreenLight Fund Board member and American New Cities Fund II Co-chair is thrilled with the support this Fund has received, “GreenLight’s unique, community-centered approach that scales proven programs that work is an effective way to bring about impactful, positive change. GreenLight has proven the model works dozens of times and we look forward to this Fund enabling further growth and results, strengthening communities across the country.”