Our Approach

We have learned that the best kind of problem solving occurs through deep listening, creativity, and collaboration with others. In addition to grants, Sobrato Philanthropies deploys a range of philanthropic tools in an effort to increase the effectiveness of our giving.

Networks and Infrastructure

No matter what issue we seek to address—whether education, housing, or climate—it will be impossible to succeed without the right infrastructure in place. Through this body of work, we seek to support our partners to be as strong as they can be. This work, formerly part of our Thriving Nonprofit Sector capacity building program, ranges from supporting individual leaders and organizations, to building networks and connections among them. Our funding provides the resources required to strengthen the core infrastructure that is so critical to achieving success in the important program and issue areas we fund. Some examples of our projects and partnerships include: ASCEND: BLO, Impact Lab, Propel Next and Silicon Valley Next.

Impact Investments

When appropriate and always with an impact-first lens, we complement our grantmaking with program-related and mission-related investments to apply the right type of capital to meet the opportunity. This has included making direct debt and equity investments as well as private debt and equity fund commitments to pursue impact in addressing climate change (Breakthrough Energy Ventures), supporting sustainable food systems (Blue NaluStray Dog Capital), financial inclusion (Global Partnerships), smallholder farmers (Root CapitalOne Acre Fund), workforce development (Onramp), water and sanitation (Water Equity), and several other areas. Partners listed are a small sample of the many with whom we are proud to work.

Evaluation and Learning

Our impact and learning priorities advance SP’s mission by harnessing evidence, insight, and data to track progress against our goals, facilitate continuous learning and strategy adaptation, and share what we learn with the field.