The mission of Echoing Green focuses on finding people and organizations already working on social problems with ingenuity:
Since 1987, Echoing Green has invested in visionary leaders and their innovative strategies for social change. From Nepal to New York City, Echoing Green Fellows are developing solutions to deeply-rooted societal problems. Armed with resourcefulness and drive, these social entrepreneurs are taking bold steps by building organizations that implement untested new ideas to create positive change. Often leaving stable jobs or creating roles where there is a void, Echoing Green Fellows are living examples that change is possible.
Organizations or projects in the start-up phase may apply. Some of the considered criteria to be a Fellow include:
• Demonstrated leadership potential
• Demonstrated ability to overcome obstacles
• Clear and compelling mission and objectives
• Sound strategy and plan for program development and delivery
• Seriousness of the social problem they will address
• Innovative idea and approach
Winners selected to join the two-year fellowship will earn a stipend of $60,000 for individuals or $90,000 for partnerships, health insurance, and professional development.
The 2011 Echoing Green contest brought in 2,854 applications, which were narrowed down to 224 semi-finalists in January. Now the forty finalists will go on to interviews in May for the coveted 12-20 spots in the fellowship. The finalists represent 27 organizations from nine countries.
Finalists include a clean tech project in Kenya (Clean Tech Enterprises Kenya), a social network for families with autism (AutisimSphere), a program for promising teens in Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge Youth Coalition), a literacy program in El Savador (ConTextos), and an economically viable housing solution in India (micro Home Solutions).