David Greco, Social Sector Partners

Twitter = @DavidRGreco

David Greco is the head of Social Sector Partners, and a Director of The Real Cost Project.  Social Sector Partners works to transform organizations working to achieve social impact through strategic adaptation, business model repositioning, and scaling programs. 

David brings more than 25 years of experience in in driving the growth of social sector organizations working for a more just and equitable world.  He has successfully scaled programs, developed new products and services, expanded into new markets and business lines, and launched new revenue generating operations within nonprofit organizations.

In this interview, David talks about increasing capacity of nonprofits to serve more people sustainably, and about the flow of capital through the social sector. He discusses the need for funders and donors to focus more on funding outcomes from organizations, and get away from the fascination on outputs, as well as overhead. He explains how nonprofit organizations can make themselves more attractive to funders by improving their infrastructure, their revenue flows, their outcomes measurements and evaluations, and their underlying business models. 

Healthy, vibrant, and just communities require a strong and sustainable social sector. There is an equilibrium of funding and service delivery.  David argues that in order to improve the sector as a whole, we needed a larger flow of capital and resources, from both the private and public sectors, as well as organizations that can scale and meet the growing demands. 


In this interview, we discuss:

  1. How the flow of capital works in the social sector, and attracting more private capital. (4:30)
  2. The difference between outputs and outcomes, and how we are shifting to outcomes-based funding.  (10:30)
  3. The Real Cost Project, and the the Overhead Myth. (16:15)
  4. Nonprofit organizations can improving their relationship to funders by doing a better job of measuring evaluations and outputs, and providing data. (25:30)
  5. Why we should all be thinking "money first, mission second." (31:15)
  6. The conversations taking place between nonprofits, donors, and funders, and how the sector is rapidly changing. (35:00)


"501(c)3 is a tax status, not a business model."  -David Greco


  1. Article by David in the BoardSource Blog
  2. Article on Pay-What-It-Takes Philanthropy in Stanford Social Innovation Review. 
  3. The Real Cost Project, a joint initiative of California Grantmakers.
  4. Assessing Nonprofit Financial Health with SoCal Grantmakers.  
  5. The Overhead Myth Project launched by Guidestar, Charity Navigator, and other groups to dispel the notion of measuring overhead. 


If you enjoy The Philanthropy Hour, please leave a review or a rating on iTunes. I read every review and it helps to make the podcast better.

Join thousands of others who watch the interviews and receive great fundraising resources...Get inspired!