A bottom-up “blue sky” approach to philanthropy that provides catalytic, finite funding to highly scalable but under-resourced organizations, ideas or initiatives, with no sector or geography-driven criteria


To support the most promising pathways to social change through a targeted influx of seed capital, based on solutions designed by practitioners working at the ground level


Through a prize-like funding mechanism, enable great ideas from untapped networks to flow upwards toward capital, rather than allocating funding downwards based on predetermined issues, sectors, or geographies

GDI's Role

GDI helped launch Unorthodox Philanthropy in conjunction with a San Francisco-based family foundation. GDI continues to support the effort by providing strategic guidance, supporting communications around new and past awards, and facilitating connections to networks from which potentially transformative ideas may come.

Key People

Andrew SternFounder and Executive Director, GDI
Darin KingstonSenior Manager, GDI

Focus Area

Development Frontiers