By applying investment principles to charitable giving, Slingshot Memphis is creating a new channel for donors to maximize impact. Our 'venture philanthropy platform' utilizes quantitative and qualitative analysis to identify, fund, and accelerate (or slingshot) a portfolio of organizations with highly effective solutions that improve the quality of life for Memphians living in poverty.
Slingshot Memphis is modeled after Robin Hood, New York's largest poverty-fighting organization. Pioneered by investor and native Memphian Paul Tudor Jones, Robin Hood has accelerated hundreds of high-performing poverty-fighting organizations since 1988.
"There is so much work to do in the fight against poverty and precious few resources for this work. I’ve come to believe we have a moral obligation in putting our limited personal capital into programs that are proven to generate the most return in alleviating poverty - treating these investments like other financial investments. I am thrilled to join Slingshot - and my hometown of Memphis - in this approach to disrupt the way we give, and to disrupt poverty itself.”
Tommie & Billy Dunavant, Katherine & John Dobbs, and Linda & Frank Smith, alongside our Board of Directors, are committed to covering all operating and fundraising costs. This unique framework guarantees that every cent of every dollar invested into Slingshot's IMPACT FUND will directly impact our city's highest-performing poverty alleviating programs.
Knowing that our partner organizations are delivering vital impact for our struggling neighbors, Slingshot Memphis will strive to invest each dollar from our IMPACT FUND in the most expeditious and strategic means possible. Just as earlier investments in equities grow faster due to compounding interest, earlier investments in poverty reduction can reduce more suffering over time. We don’t wait.
Our data-driven analysis provides investees a tool by which to achieve consistently powerful outcomes, and it does so in a way that gives donors clear evidence (good or bad) about the impact of their actions. Slingshot Memphis has chosen this rigorous and humble approach in order to provide donors with the confidence and satisfaction that comes from achieving measurable results in community.
Slingshot pinpoints partner organizations with the potential or capacity to generate the most effective solutions that lift and keep Memphians out of poverty. To unlock maximum potential, Slingshot equips our partner organizations with data-driven technologies, technical assistance, capable personnel and other support.
Knowing that many of our partner organizations require additional, ongoing streams of revenue to maximize poverty alleviating outcomes, Slingshot Memphis recruits investors to join our IMPACT FUND. This fund allows us to aggregate community dollars, mobilizing every level of donor, from 1 dollar to $10 million.
Using our IMPACT FUND, we intend to make strategic, long-term investments, often in partnership with other funders, in programs that have demonstrated their effectiveness and potential for growth. Over time, we will rebalance investments as needed, shifting funds toward people and programs with the greatest return on investment.
As various partner organizations empirically demonstrate the ability to diminish the root causes and long-term impacts of poverty, Slingshot Memphis will help them explore and pursue public funding to support operations and scaling. After all, most of our partners’ programs deliver clear revenue increases and social services savings to government. It only makes sense that the government should subsidize these low-risk, high-return opportunities. These funding opportunities also frees private Slingshot Memphis resources to invest in new innovation, new partner organizations, and new measurement systems that will lead to even more outside support.
Read about the impact that Slingshot Memphis will have on poverty.