Journey to Impact Report

Lessons from our first 10 years of supporting over 250 organizations around the world to achieve impact at scale

At Spring Impact, we work to strengthen the global practice around scaling social impact, through deep partnerships with organizations, and by developing and sharing insight.

We’ve spent 10 years helping mission-driven organizations across the world to scale their impact. What you’re reading about now – the Journey to Impact report – is part of our commitment to sharing knowledge with the social sector.

Whether you’re a mission-driven organization looking to scale your impact, or a funder interested in supporting their grantees to more effectively achieve the impact they seek, the report will provide you with lots of direct, applicable insight. You will:

  • Learn 5 clear, distilled lessons for scaling social impact
  • Explore specific stories and examples from 18 amazing organizations, plus 12 bonus case studies on our website featuring organizations who have successfully scaled
  • Gain tailored recommendations and suggestions for driving and better supporting scaling social impact

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Lessons for scaling impact

Across all the organizations we’ve worked with, we’ve discovered enough to fill far more than this report. But amid it all, five crucial lessons stand out: 

1. Stay responsive, stay relevant, stay the course 

2. Imagine your ideal world, plan for the real world

3. Organizations don’t scale things, people do

4. Processes are beautiful, not boring 

5. Fund the journey, not just the destination 

Beneath each of these lessons is a range of more specific learnings, based on analysis of, and conversations with, dozens of our former partners, as well as the experience we’ve built up over ten years of work with more than 250 organizations.

We hope you’ll find ways to apply these lessons to your work, and that they will ultimately help you get closer to achieving the impact that you seek.

Meet 12 Standout Innovations

Meet 12 amazing organizations who helped us surpass our initial impact goal of helping 10 organizations to replicate their impact by 2018.

Even though we’ve worked with over 250 organizations, our impact goal focused on a small number to help provide us with a unifying focus. Here we highlight 12 of them—what we’re calling “standout innovations”—as having met our robust criteria for our impact goal.

We have worked with many incredible organizations. Here, we followed rigorous criteria to highlight truly amazing examples of teams that have had a chance to implement their plans and gather lessons along the way. The journey to scale is hard and takes time—we’ve learned a lot about that in our last 10 years—and lots of other organizations are well on their way.

What follows are 12 profiles of those standout innovations, aimed at celebrating their success, and explaining how we worked together.

Street Business School

Street Business School is on a mission to end extreme poverty by empowering women as entrepreneurs, through teaching other organizations how to implement their proven and effective business training.

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Flow Coaching Academy

The Flow Coaching Academy—a program of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust—exists to enable staff in every healthcare organization to continuously improve patient care and experience.

Read case study

Child PIP

Child PIP is a mortality review process that assesses the quality of care children receive in the South African health system.

Read case study


LavaMaeX is a nonprofit accelerator changing the way the world sees and serves our unhoused neighbors.

Read case study

Recovery Café

Recovery Café provides a beautiful, safe, drug and alcohol-free community space to anchor individuals in their recovery. The Recovery Café Network (RCN) is comprised of Member organizations committed to creating spaces that serve as refuges for healing and hope, helping individuals transform their lives.

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Children's University

Children’s University works in partnership with schools to develop a love of learning in children by encouraging and celebrating participation in extra-curricular activities in and outside of school.

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Speech Bubbles

Speech Bubbles is a national primary school drama intervention in the United Kingdom supporting children’s communication skills, confidence and wellbeing.

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The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is leading the fight against child abuse in the UK and Channel Islands.

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CultiVert is a network of independent entrepreneurs that aims to improve nutrition and economic growth in rural communities, addressing challenges including lack of market access, food insecurity, malnutrition, and undernutrition.

Read case study works with smalholder farmers to address the challenges of poverty, food security, and climate change, by providing access to innovative biodigester technology, training and financing to make farmers more productive.

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The BOMA Project

The BOMA Project empowers women in the drylands of Africa to establish sustainable livelihoods, build resilient families, graduate from extreme poverty, and catalyze change in their rural communities.

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Dance4Life empowers people with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to protect their health and promote safe sexual choices.

Read case study

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If you'd like to find out more about our work and how we can support you, do reach out to us, even if just for an informal conversation!

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