Uncharted Insider - May 2018

Uncharted Insider - May 2018

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the May edition of the Uncharted Insider.

Uncharted Update:

  • Hiring: We hired five people (both part-time and full-time) in the last three months (with roles in programs, business development, marketing, and venture funding). All the credit goes to Marie Hathaway and Sara Rodriguez who led the charge on our team. Earlier this week, we opened applications for another full-time Program Director role.
  • Current Programs: We're currently running Uncharted Mobile Techwith a corporate partner, Visible, a new mobile tech company. We also have partnered with the AARP Foundation to identify startups focused on senior poverty.

Ideas on our mind:

I've mentioned both of these topics in previous Insiders*, but they continue to be areas of curiosity for us.

  • CSR looking for a breakthrough: I've had a handful of meetings recently with heads of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) departments at large corporations, and there seems to be a common struggle to sell their initiatives up to the top leadership at the corporation. While many corporate leaders understand the need for CSR initiatives, they're hesitant to roll out and fund those initiatives more broadly across the company. In turn, heads of CSR are left with small budgets but big mandates to create impact. I'm curious to hear examples of the business case for CSR, and how CSR personnel might be able to effectively sell a bigger vision for impact to their leadership.
  • The next generation of the foundation: FSG, a social impact consultancy, recently released this report on how foundations are evolving. It's long but full of intriguing insights. They interviewed 114 people at 50 major foundations across the US/Canada. Here are two of my big takeaways: 1) The role of foundations is shifting to become more active and less concentrated on traditional grant-making. Foundations aren't just passively outsourcing their impact creation to their grantees, but instead using tools like policy-influence, connecting grantees together, and building partnerships with other funders, and 2) Foundations are recognizing the power of staff not just as a cost-driver but as an impact multiplier, so foundation staffs are growing, becoming more active, and diversifying in function and competency.

What I’m reading:

  • There are fewer women who are chief executives of Fortune 500 companies than there are male Fortune 500 executives just with the name "James." How under-represented women and minorities are in positions of power. Here.
  • There are only 35 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 US families that live in poverty. America's history of unaffordable housing.
  • Should CEOs be vulnerable and emotional? 21st century leadership looks different.
  • We are nearing the one-year anniversary of what seems to me to be the greatest athletic feat in human history. How one man climbed El Capitan free solo. If you are interested in more articles about Alex Honnold, let me know.

Something personal:

Just over a year ago, I started taking piano lessons. I'm not good - barely can play Jingle Bells, but I'm slowly learning to read music and pick up tempo. It's been invigorating to be a true beginner at something as an adult. I'm both humbled by how much there is to learn and energized by how quickly I can see progress. I think I'll be ready for my first recital in 2022, and you all are invited.


United in the common work,