Using Nonprofit Exemplars: Lessons Learned

Using Nonprofit Exemplars: Lessons Learned

In the 2024 High Impact Giving Toolkit, we profile nine exemplars with potential to achieve high impact. These nonprofit organizations were vetted by our staff and organizational partners (GreenLight Fund and Lipman Family Prize) for evidence of positive impact and/or fidelity with evidence-proven interventions. They work in the U.S. and internationally to improve childhood health, educational outcomes, youth career preparation, housing stability, and family livelihoods. Many create positive impacts in more than one area. For example, Build Up Nepal creates economic opportunity, rebuilds safe housing, and reduces climate damage with its solution of locally sourced, manufactured, and used building materials. ParentChild+ supports parents and daycare providers, and in doing so, improves children’s school readiness and increases their odds of achieving prosperous lives in the long-term.

Below, you’ll find a list of the organizations profiled with take-away lessons learned. We encourage you to apply these lessons when analyzing additional nonprofit organizations in the communities and issue areas where you aim to create greater social impact. Follow the link to each profile to find more vetted exemplars doing related work.


What they do

Lessons learned

More Ways to Help

Improve the health, environment, and economy of isolated communities

“Low-tech” innovations that address critical daily needs can create multiple outcomes at once: improving health, increasing livelihoods, and developing the economies of communities that have had little investment in community economic development. 

Creative financing mechanisms can speed adoption of such innovations, accelerating impact.

Build safer, eco-friendly housing and improve economic opportunity

Innovations in how we build housing can help mitigate the harm of future natural disasters, be a new source of livelihoods for those previously left out, and improve the economies of affected communities

Increase financial security with credit-building loans and coaching

Philanthropic capital can be key to providing low/no-interest loans that keep families afloat.

Increase access to meaningful, early career opportunities for youth

Meaningful early career experiences can set students up for long-term success.

Improve school-aged children’s health and educational outcomes

In parts of the world with limited healthcare infrastructure, school-based programs that engage teachers can increase access to basic healthcare and help prevent absenteeism due to preventable sickness. Such programs can serve as a model for government support.

Create a path to stable housing for families at risk of homelessness

Well-designed programs that prevent evictions keep families in their homes, avoid long-term harm to children, and are far less costly for landlords than legal and turnover costs involved in evictions.

Improve student mental health and learning through mindfulness

By giving teachers a tool to support their children’s mental health, you enable teachers to teach and students to learn.

Give parents and childcare providers tools to help children succeed

Providing support to children’s caregivers — both parents and daycare providers — improves children’s school readiness, a predictor of long-term educational outcomes.

Build the capacity of nonprofits serving youth experiencing homelessness

Expanding options for safe housing and providing cash are evidenced-based ways to reduce the number of youth and young adults, ages 13 – 25, from experiencing homelessness.