The following is a conversation between Nancy Roob, President and CEO of Blue Meridian Partners, and Denver Frederick, the Host of The Business of Giving.

Denver: Blue Meridian Partners is a new model for finding and funding scalable solutions to the problems that trap young people and families in poverty in the United States, problems such as unplanned pregnancy, foster care transitions and adoptions, employment opportunities, recidivism, and more. 

And here to discuss this work with us, it’s a pleasure to have Nancy Roob, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Meridian Partners. 

Welcome to The Business of Giving, Nancy.

Nancy Roob, President and CEO of Blue Meridian Partners

Nancy: Welcome, Denver. It’s wonderful to be here with you. 

“Blue Meridian is really trying to create an intermediary opportunity for philanthropists to deploy capital in ways where they can share the risk and the reward of investing, and bring capital to social sector leaders in more transformative ways by making those investments much larger and much longer term.”

Denver: A new model. Tell listeners what that new model is. 

Nancy: So Blue Meridian Partners is a new philanthropic model that is focused on finding and funding promising solutions to challenges that limit the economic and social mobility of young people and families in the United States. And it really is version, I would say, 20.0 of an investment approach that has been built over the last twenty-plus years. And it’s really driven by two animating questions and beliefs. 

The first is the recognition that social sector leaders who are poised to solve some of the biggest problems in our country are hamstrung by access to adequate capital. So how do social sector leaders solve multibillion-dollar problems like homelessness when the average foundation grant size is $35,000. 

And second, philanthropists who have significant wealth to deploy are challenged because they don’t often have the roadmaps that they need to invest. And so Blue Meridian is really trying to create an intermediary opportunity for philanthropists to deploy capital in ways where they can share the risk and the reward of investing, and bring capital to social sector leaders in more transformative ways by making those investments much larger and much longer term. 

And Blue Meridian was really built, incubated at Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. We’re at kind of year six, I would say, of its development, and I am profoundly humbled and grateful for the way in which this model has started to really grow. 

Denver: Yeah, it is a fascinating model; it’s a transformative model. 

Was there anything that happened, Nancy, when you were at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation or a moment where this began to crystallize in your mind? 

Nancy: So I would say that Blue Meridian is really an evolution of a body of work that has evolved over the last, personally for me, almost 30 years. And I think so much… and I’m just starting with my own personal journey… I think so much of what has really animated my journey in philanthropy really stems from two fundamental relationships in my life… one with Geoffrey Canada, who I’m sure you know is the founder of Harlem Children’s Zone, and the other with the Edna McConnell Clark family, who were the founders and major principals of the philanthropic entity that I’ve spent most of my life with, and particularly of the founders who I knew very well, personally. 

And so in terms of, Geoff, who I think of as a dear friend, I think of him really as my teacher, I got to experience firsthand the trials and tribulations of what it felt like to be on the other side of philanthropy.

And I think the one thing that I learned from Geoff, and I learned it really, frankly, in a very hard way, is the centering on the power imbalance that exists between funders and investees. And he really showed me firsthand by living through his experience, what it takes to show up as a transformative funder in his life and in the life of the journey of the Harlem Children’s Zone, and in general with investees, and how to work on really trying to address the power imbalance that exists between funders and investees. And it’s really this dysfunction that exists in the larger philanthropic market space and that has been something that has been a very powerful force in my own life. 

The second major relationship is really with the Clarks, and from them I learned kind of two fundamental values about philanthropy. The first is humility. The belief that holders of wealth and those of us that have the privilege to work on behalf of holders of wealth, don’t have the answers that we need to back folks that are on the ground who are actually doing the work.

And the second, the importance of risk-taking, the willingness to make big investments to back leaders. So Hays Clark, who was one of our founders, would say to those of us as we came into the boardroom presenting different investment ideas, he would turn to us and say, “Is that the idea that we should bet the farm on?

So the willingness to kind of imagine looking at what works and taking what works and being willing to essentially bet the farm on it, but with humility, I think that these key learnings have really animated me through the last 30 years and led to the fundamental question of: How do we, as philanthropists, show up to deploy transformative capital so that social sector leaders have what they need to effect greater change? 

“Our vision has always been to really help leaders have at hand the capital that they need so that they can focus on the hard work of solving problems, versus having to chase the cycle of getting the capital while you’re actually trying to solve problems, which is what most of us have to do in order to operate effectively in the sector.”

Denver: That’s a very nice blend when you talk about it, humility blended with courage, and those are two things that I think the sector could use even more of. But you seem to have been… sort of ahead of the curve. I think people are beginning to appreciate the power imbalances, but you were years ahead as it’s just really, I think, come to light over the course of the last couple of years.

So, Nancy, you’re aggregating this capital, and you’re making these major philanthropic investments, but that’s a really daunting proposition. They’re just not sitting around on some kind of an exchange. So how do you go about it, identifying these investments, using data in the process, rightsizing the investment, and so on?

Nancy: So I also want to say on the power imbalance question, I don’t think we have that one solved. It’s a constant daily journey of sorting out: How do we show up in ways that can in fact be transformative and recognize this power imbalance? And I think that’s really what continues to be the driving question with Blue Meridian Partners that is now operating at a very different scale than Edna McConnell Clark did. 

So to your question about how do we think about right-sized investments and how do we make investment decisions, so we have a team that is every day waking up, doing extensive research and diligence to identify outstanding programs and strategies. We try to scour the country. We talk to proximate leaders. We talk to policy makers. And we’re trying to identify opportunities that have the potential at scale to really make a significant impact and solve problems. 

When we talk about rightsized capital, we’re really referring to the transformative capital that is needed at scale to solve problems. So for example, if I’m a social sector leader, and I need a hundred million dollars to actually solve a problem, but I only have access to 10, I’m not going to actually be able to solve the problem, and often I’m fundamentally hamstrung by my inability to get access to that capital. So we’re trying… we know that we need to be thinking in tens of millions of dollars of investment, not tens of thousands of dollars of investments, which is typically the norm for philanthropy. And we also need to be thinking long term. 

And so our vision has always been to really help leaders have at hand the capital that they need so that they can focus on the hard work of solving problems, versus having to chase the cycle of getting the capital while you’re actually trying to solve problems, which is what most of us have to do in order to operate effectively in the sector. 

 In addition to the dollars, we’re also trying to provide investees with sustained strategic planning support and other kinds of support so that they can get additional resources that one is not often easily able to access as well.

Denver: Uniting a group of donors behind a common purpose, I can only imagine that must be a real challenge. 

Nancy, what attracts investors to join?

Nancy: So we found that more and more philanthropists are really eager to put their resources to work faster and more effectively to achieve impact. The challenge isn’t necessarily really about getting donors to invest more. Often the challenge that we’ve seen is creating the conditions by which philanthropists and investing leaders feel competent in being able to bring their resources together to bear and actualize impact.

 And that’s why we’ve kind of designed our approach that brings together large-scale investments, support for planning and strategic counsel at the same time to have greater and more impact for those social sector leaders and organizations that are doing the work on the ground, as well as for our partners. So I think that investors are really looking for opportunities to deploy their capital at scale, and Blue Meridian offers a way for philanthropists to share the risk and the reward of that experience because we are essentially offering a community experience that allows folks to participate together in investing and learning at the same time. 

Denver: Nancy, how much capital have you aggregated and deployed to date?

Nancy: Well, I will say that I am incredibly humbled… and I pinch myself when I say that we have aggregated a little bit over $3 billion to date. When we started Blue Meridian Partners, my vision was that we would bring together a billion dollars over 10 years, so it is truly humbling and gratifying to reach that, to be at where we are today. And we’ve deployed just over a billion dollars to date. 


Denver: Those are remarkable numbers. There’s no question about it. 

Let’s talk a little bit about how that money is being deployed, and Blue Meridian maintains five portfolios of philanthrophic investments. And let’s discuss a couple of those starting with the Justice and Mobility Fund, which I believe you launched in partnership with The Ford Foundation and also had significant support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family foundation. Tell us about that work, Nancy. 

Nancy: The criminal justice reform is really one of the most critical civil rights issues of our time as America continues to have the highest mass incarceration population in the world. Seventy-seven million Americans have criminal records, and millions more interact with the justice system each year. And as we’ve witnessed for decades, involvement in the justice system severely disrupts economic stability and access to opportunity for individuals, families, and whole communities.

The cycle of injustice and poverty is particularly devastating for Black people and other people of color who are significantly disproportionately affected by the justice system. Despite reform efforts, insufficient attention is really paid to developing and scaling interventions that provide economic opportunity for people that are affected by the system. And the Justice and Mobility Fund seeks to change that by scaling the impact, the reach, and the influence of solutions to problems that are caused by interaction with the criminal justice system, both nationwide and in targeted regions. 

“So reducing convictions and incarcerations and mitigating their negative downstream effects is really critical to giving people, especially Black people and other people of color who are disproportionately impacted by the system, greater access to jobs, educational opportunities, and housing in order to break the cycle of poverty and injustice.”

So we launched this portfolio of investment along with our partners, The Ford Foundation and the Schusterman Family Philanthropies. And together with them, we’re investing flexible capital and providing the kind of comprehensive support that social sector leaders that are working in the justice space need to build capacity and to really have a lasting impact. So, by working at key touchpoints that are along the spectrum of justice system involvement, everything from diversion to re-entry and beyond, our investees pursue significant sustained changes that strengthen the criminal justice infrastructure.

Denver: What a great initiative! You have so much going on. Another one of your newest funds is the Place Matters portfolio, and that focuses on investing in community leaders and locally run organizations in places across the country. Where did that idea come from? What’s the thinking behind it. 

Nancy: Yeah. So I just want to kind of step back and say, like across everything at Blue Meridian, we are focused on really trying to move social and economic mobility for the most disadvantaged people in America. And we do that by focusing on strategies that work nationwide, cradle to career. So everything from early childhood to career.

And in our nationwide solutions portfolio, we’re working across that continuum to identify scalable solutions nationwide. Those solutions need to come together in the context of place. For far too long, communities have been massively underinvested in, and local leaders feel they have limited power to improve their economic and social mobility.

So our Place Matters portfolio is really designed to try to help enable upward mobility, narrow racial gaps in key outcomes, and reinforce existing local supports to maximize effectiveness. And most importantly, we’re wanting to help communities realize their potential to positively impact residents’ destinies.

So ultimately, we kind of aim to amplify an array of solutions that can be adopted and scaled, helping to change the life trajectories of young people and families, and leave communities in control to shape their own destinies. So place is really centrally important to being able to move the needle on economic and social mobility in this country.

And so when we started Blue Meridian, it was always with the vision of trying to blend investments in nationwide solutions with ensuring that local communities on the ground have the resources that they need to drive the change that they want to see in their communities. And that’s why we look at those portfolios of work as highly complementary to each other.

“It can often take years to undo decades of regressive policies that have contributed to the inequity that we’re seeing and experiencing today. So to achieve real sustained, equitable impact, we’re going to need to ensure that organizations and leaders have the capital tools and the support that they need to advance their work and plan for their future.”

Denver: You’ve touched on this before, but in looking at your investments, I’ve always been taken by the long time horizon you have. I mean, you have a longer time horizon sometimes than people who are involved in systems change and say they have a long time horizon– often out 10 or 12 years. Give us a little bit of the thinking behind that and the difference in the impact it makes as you approach these challenges.

Nancy: We believe, and I mean I certainly feel this personally now having spent almost 30 years working on this set of issues, that working on these intractable problems is a marathon. It’s not a sprint. And real systemic change is not going to happen overnight. And it can often take years to u decades of regressive policies that have contributed to the inequity that we’re seeing and experiencing today. So to achieve real sustained, equitable impact, we’re going to need to ensure that organizations and leaders have the capital tools and the support that they need to advance their work and plan for their future.

And I think with the long term in mind, we often invest in multi-year phases and understand that we need to invest at the national level and in local communities over the long run to really get to serious change. So if you think about  most average grant sizes in the foundation world are one year. So if you’re looking at problems that took many, many decades to be built up as they are and imagine what it will take for us to undo them, the long view is really, really essential for backing social sector leaders and supporting the communities as they’re trying to make change. 

And I would just add, I think one of the wonderful things about our partnership is that every investor that is joining our community shares and holds this belief. So our investor partners are making their capital commitments over very long periods of time with the recognition… and we’re very clear about this upfront… that we’re not going to see impacts overnight. It’s going to take time to actually see the kinds of social impact returns on investment that we all want to see. And we’re asking for investors to have the patience for that because of the long-term nature of all of this work. 

Denver: Yeah. And I guess it allows these social sector leaders to go about their work to try to make these changes as opposed to having to chase the next grant in order to be able to fund the next year’s activities.  

Nancy: Exactly. So imagine if you were in the private sector and you were launching a new business, you wouldn’t launch the business if you only had access to a quarter of the capital; you would question whether you should actually launch the business. So we expect leaders to essentially save lives and chase the money they need to save lives at the same time, versus actually having a different way that philanthropy operates, which actually assumes that like upfront and long term is a great thing, and making that a normal part of what it actually takes to help leaders sustain and get to change in this country.

Denver: Absolutely. If there is a so-called lab in your portfolio that embraces experimentation, it would be The Studio @ Blue Meridian. What’s happening over there? 

Nancy: I’m really excited about The Studio. The Studio is an opportunity to provide resources and support to leaders that are at an earlier stage of innovating on their strategies for working on scaling their solutions. And it’s often at that, if you look at where most philanthropic funding flows, it flows to the start-up, very early stage end of the spectrum.

 And so if you’re a social sector leader that is at a mid point where you’re ready for scale, but you’re still trying to innovate and sort through what does it actually take for me to get there, it’s very challenging to find the flexible kind of capital that you need to really work on that innovation cycle. And so we discovered that this was a real gap, and The Studio was really designed as a response to that gap. And this portfolio is committed to addressing systemic racial inequities and investing in organizations with diverse leadership teams that reflect the communities they serve and have lived experience shaped by the problems that they seek to solve, especially Black, indigenous, and Latinx leaders. 

So since the pilot in 2019, we have invested in 16 organizations. The COVID-19 crisis kind of only underscored the urgency of the work and the importance of The Studio as kind of a central pillar of our commitment to innovation and experimentation. And last year, The Studio really focused on supporting leaders and organizations that were working with communities that were hardest hit by the pandemic. 

Denver: I love it. It reminds me a little bit of middle school. You’re not a newbie, you’re not in high school yet, but there are those wonderful organizations. They got kind of caught in the middle, and to be able to support them and take them to the next level is brilliant.

In addition to what we’ve been discussing, you have also invested in policy-focused organizations. How does that relate to all the rest of the work that we’ve been talking about?

Nancy: So really to support community-driven efforts to advance economic and social mobility in places, our investment strategy includes an approach that provides capital and technical assistance, what we refer to as catalytic supports and other supports that are intended to bolster the efforts of the place-based partnerships that we’re investing in. And one of these areas is policy. So we’re investing in organizations like PolicyLink, the Urban Institute, the William Julius Wilson Institute, which is housed at the Harlem Children’s Zone. These are all investments that we’re making in the catalytic support area. 

And I think we believe that the scale of the challenges within historically underserved communities and across the country really can only be solved with crucial funding from the public sector. And many communities feel that they must address the underlying policies that have generated the systemic barriers which prevent their respective communities from thriving. And we all know that future policy can be a powerful tool and I would say an essential tool for equitable recovery. So we believe that the aligning of the policy environments and community expertise based on data about what’s working will lead to more cost-effective deployment of constrained resources and ultimately to greater impact. 

“And I think that while we were all trying to make sense of it, we knew that there were too many Americans that were already in critical need and that’s what we were seeing on the ground and we felt that we needed to respond immediately. And that’s why in April 2020, we funded an emergency response to respond in a strategic and direct way. And the approach was really guided by three principles, act now, partner with others, and trust social sector leaders and community members to know what meets their needs.”

Denver: One last thing on your investments, and you touched on it a moment ago, and that is your response to COVID-19. Tell us a little bit more about that. And I think I read someplace that you had actually had made some direct cash payments as a result of the pandemic through #GiveTogetherNow. Tell us a little bit about how you responded to this pandemic.

Nancy: Yeah. Well, it’s been quite a challenge. I think, obviously, that the pandemic has caused immense disproportionate harm to the most vulnerable people in this country, many of whom we were already very focused on and working with and who were already struggling well before the pandemic began.

And I think that while we were all trying to make sense of it, we knew that there were too many Americans that were already in critical need, and that’s what we were seeing on the ground, and we felt that we needed to respond immediately. And that’s why in April 2020, we funded an emergency response to respond in a strategic and direct way. And the approach was really guided by three principles:  act now, partner with others, and trust social sector leaders and community members to know what meets their needs. And I’ll note, this was different than when we just talked about long-term working on systemic problems; this was a: “we need to respond now and immediately.”

And to date, we invested over $230 million in 35 organizations helping the hardest hit populations, providing immediate relief while also working towards long-term equitable recovery in the communities that they serve. 

And initially, we funded organizations that were providing kind of essential support to individuals and families that were experiencing acute economic fallout because of the pandemic. The emergency relief investment supported direct cash transfer and improved access to public benefits, and that was really a centerpiece of what was the emergency response, which was helping people get direct access to cash. 

And you asked about direct cash payments, and we did invest in, for example, a campaign like #GiveTogetherNow, which is actually being led by one of our investees UpTogether. These are really important good first steps to securing the direct cash payments and assistance that families need to regain their footing or to help stabilize their finances in times of unexpected interruptions, especially during uncertain financial and life moments.

And in general, we’ve really seen the merits of providing direct cash payments to those that are in need as we did through the emergency relief investments at the onset. There was a lot of indication that cash was the most critical thing to get into the hands of families immediately.

Denver: Yeah. And I think the data really supports that. I’ve had Give Directly on the show a couple of times, and people think they’re going to use it in one way or another; they tend to use it in the most absolutely highly leveraged, responsible, best way. And it is the thing that families need, I think, or needed in order to be able to stabilize their situation.

Nancy, you gave a Ted talk back in 2017 where you said that in 10 years, we could be looking at a new normal for philanthropy. Are we on track of obtaining that new normal?

Nancy: I guess what I would say is that I can’t confidently say that I think we’re on track to realize the vision that I laid out in 2017. And that’s not only because of the pandemic, but it’s also because of the fact that, for example, since I did the talk and since the pandemic, billionaires in America became 11% richer, even with the raging pandemic. And at the same time, we see that upward mobility– which is the defining feature of the American Dream– is fading. Ninety percent of children born in 1940 grew up to earn more than their parents. And today, only half of children earn more than their parents did and that is potentially worsening as a result of the pandemic. 

So on the one hand, while I’m glad to see the growth of Blue Meridian Partners, I think that in terms of mobility in this country and the rate of giving, we’re not where we want to or need to be, and yet it’s also inspiring to see the growth of some of these intermediary platforms. And I do believe and I am optimistic that we will come out of this.  Perhaps with new infrastructure emerging, that will allow for greater deployment of capital over time and will allow social sector leaders to be able to recover from what has happened over the last two years of this country because their jobs are 20 times harder, with more resources to work with.


So, Nancy, what would you say has been the impact, the influence of this philanthropic model on the sector?

Nancy: So I think, as I said earlier, Blue Meridian is really version 20.0 of an investment approach, an investment methodology, as well as an approach to capital aggregation that we’ve been iterating on for many, many years. And seeing on the ground the progress that visionary social sector leaders have made as a result of benefiting from more transformative capital is, I think, the thing that just energizes me and us every day and gives me incredible hope. We’re seeing more and more organizations really be positioned to solve bigger problems at scale. And we’re also seeing, I think, acknowledgement from funders that they are interested in these aggregated models. I mean, as I said, I never dreamed Blue Meridian would have the number of partners that we have to date… or the capital that we have, and we’re only in year five or six, so there’s obviously something to it. 

So I think in the last five or six years since we started Blue Meridian, we’ve also seen a number of other new philanthropic partnerships and collaborations launched at the same time, which is super exciting as we are collectively working on: How do we build a more productive philanthropic marketplace that can actually serve social sector leaders in a more transformative way. And do I wish that was faster? Yes, but I do think that we are starting to see a real inquiry into the questions around power shifting, the need to really center resources on leaders in more transformative ways. There’s a narrative that’s happening across the country around this, and we’re also seeing the formation of more intermediary vehicles which are necessary to actually try to put capital to work more effectively and productively for leaders. Why should leaders have to go to 25 different sources for funding all the time?

So we’re starting to see more of the shaping up of what I think of as the marketplace, which is just, I think, super exciting and also humbling because we have a long way to go as well. 

“This is by far the hardest period I’ve ever had to lead through. And I think probably about nine months in, I had to do a pretty big mental pivot to be able to show up and evolve my leadership, to be in service of our investees, our staff, and the work.”

Denver:  Nancy, let me ask you about the changing nature of leadership in the sector as a result of the past two years. I mean, how have you adapted to this changed world, and how do you think it’s going to inform your leadership going forward?

Nancy: So I think that the question of how to lead in these times is something that I kind of wake up thinking about every day. And I think if you step back and look, there are three major forces that we have been and we are continuing to navigate. The first is the pandemic, what was normal is now gone. It has really upended work and caused massive disruptions in work and home life. The pandemic has also led to tremendous loss of life and great personal suffering. And the staff at Blue Meridian, along with millions of other employees and employers, are coming to work every day doing the best that they can while also carrying enormous grief and recovering from their own illnesses. I myself have been sick. The disruption is quite profound. 

The second is the reckoning in social justice, the post-George Floyd era, the need to lead with a centering on equity.

And then the third is the last election and the questioning of democracy, the instability of our system, erosion of trust in the fundamental systems and lack of information at times. These I think three major forces create enormous instability in the lives of individuals and for organizations. And so therefore, what we’re asking of leaders right now is really, really hard. And I don’t think there’s a single CEO across any sector in this country that is not challenged effectively in leading in these times. 

And that’s been my own personal experience. This is by far the hardest period I’ve ever had to lead through. And I think probably about nine months in, I had to do a pretty big mental pivot to be able to show up and evolve my leadership, to be in service of our investees, our staff, and the work. And I’ve had to really make some significant shifts in myself to lead in these times. 

And so first, in terms of myself, every day I wake up, I do three things. First, I focus on gratitude. I center myself, and I meditate. Second, I focus on grace, both for myself and for others. So the notion that there is an answer, a one right way, the number of moments of : Was that the right thing, the wrong thing?  There’s so many questions. And so I’ve really had to center on the importance of grace, both for myself and for others. 

And the third is centering on partnership. I think leadership requires partnership. This has always been a core value. It’s one of our core values for Blue Meridian Partners, and it’s tied to another core value that we have, which is belief in people. And so while this has always been fundamental, I think that what the leadership for now requires of these times, is that we, as leaders, are centering on sharing power and decision making with others. 

And leadership is really, for me, informed by what it is that others that I serve are most affected by, and so being in that constant dialogue. But for me, I mean, I’ve had to really change my leadership style significantly to move towards a dramatically more inclusive way of decision making and problem solving. And I think that as I look ahead, I think this is going to be really important for leadership in general. At the organizational level, I think there are two things. First is waking up every day, centering on racial equity and inclusion. While it’s always been important to our mission, this is now absolutely fundamental, and we are centering on it every day. And it is a journey to ensure that we are doing that, and I think it’s critical for effective leadership across all sectors. 

And then the second is focusing on communications and transparency. I think the lack of clarity and uncertainty in people’s lives brings a lot of anxiety. People bring a lot of anxiety to work every single day. Our investees are very anxious, and our partners are very anxious. And so the importance of overcommunication, of being transparent, of being able to say, “I don’t have the answer, but here’s the process that we’re in to get to the answer. We don’t know when we’re going to open the office again, but here are the 10 things we’re thinking about.” All of that is really important to be communicating all the time. 

As I think about my own journey of leadership, and I think about the journey for Blue Meridian Partners, the core values that animate our work, which are four: belief in people, partnership, justice, and impact, those are the things that I hold at the center of my own leadership and our leadership as an organization in the sector, and in the ways in which we, as individuals in a community, need to show up every day and support each other. 

Denver: Those are wonderful touchstones, Nancy. And I think as it relates to clarity and transparency, the bar certainly has been lifted for leaders, and it’s never going to be lowered again. 

Nancy: And it shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be.

Denver: And it shouldn’t be. And in listening to you though, I also get a sense of optimism. Would that be right? 

Nancy: Well, I am an optimistic person at heart, and I do believe that out of this period, I have to stay focused on hope and optimism. And I do believe that out of this period of tremendous disruption, that we will come out in a better place. We are now addressing head-on some of the issues in this country, particularly related to racism that have always been here, but we are staring at them in a much more profound way. And we have an absolute responsibility to act on them and create a new path forward that is better. 

And I think it’s the case for leadership as well. In the journey that we’re in at Blue Meridian– on really trying to look at how our culture needs to evolve to be more equitable and inclusive, what we have to dismantle to create that requires an imagination and hope that we will get to a place that we don’t actually know what that looks like yet… We have to be able to hold out the optimism and the belief that that’s possible. And I really am excited for being on that journey, and I am optimistic that we will come to a better place. 

Denver: I certainly agree… and really so well stated, I appreciate that. 

Tell us where people can go to learn more about the work of Blue Meridian Partners and maybe how philanthropists and changemakers can support it if they should be so inclined to do so.

Nancy: So, as I said, we are deeply committed to partnership. We very much welcome new partners joining our efforts, and we are constantly seeking out other collaborators that share vision and commitment to wanting to eradicate poverty and back social sector leaders to be able to transform the communities and systems that they’re working in. And so we very much welcome new partners joining our efforts. And I think the best way to learn more about our work is to go to our website, And that website will help you navigate your way to finding one of us to be in dialogue with, and we very much welcome that opportunity.

Denver: Well, fantastic. Thanks so much, Nancy, for being here today. It was a real delight to have you on the program. 

Nancy: Thank you so much, Denver for having me. This was fun and I’m very grateful to you for taking the time.

Denver Frederick, Host of The Business of Giving serves as a Strategic Advisor and Executive Coach to NGO and Nonprofit CEOs and Board Chairs. His Book, The Business of Giving: The Non-Profit Leaders Guide to Transform Leadership, Philanthropy, and Organizational Success in a Changed World, will be released in the spring of 2022.

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