When companies come together to do good, everyone wins. Check out these philanthropic partnerships making the world a better place.

Working alone, any of the groups could improve conditions in a given sector. But when organizations elect to work together, larger populations are seeing improvements no one thought possible.Several philanthropic organizations are currently exploring innovative ways to leverage the capabilities of businesses, social groups, and even public agencies.

Working alone, any of the groups could improve conditions in a given sector. But when organizations elect to work together, larger populations are seeing improvements no one thought possible.

The question then becomes, how do organizations use their unique capabilities to better the world?

Defining Needs and Imagining Solutions

It’s no secret the U.S. education system isn’t producing the results parents and students expect, and several organizations have stepped up to improve how the country’s education system functions.

A few years ago, Concordia University in Portland, Oregon listed five philanthropic foundations that had contributed heavily to help meet educational needs around the country.

The Ford Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, tended to focus on rather specific areas but, together, they serve to improve the overall quality of education.

The Gates Foundation, for example, focused on working in concert with organizations and school districts to develop strategic programs to enhance student outcomes throughout their primary and secondary school years.

Previously, types of philanthropic partnerships encouraging the exploration of new teaching strategies while incorporating innovative techniques like this weren’t possible due to funding challenges.

There are certainly many other partnerships that deserve recognition for their efforts, but here are four that exemplify partnerships that succeed in making the world a better place.

Unreasonable Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation


Denver resident Teju Ravilochan, who immigrated to the U.S. from India with his family, now dedicates his time and efforts to helping others improve their lives through his Unreasonable Institute.

The organization—which Ravilochan identifies as an academy to learn how to tackle the world’s problems—invites entrepreneurs with the potential to address significant problems at scale. With the Unreasonable Institute’s network of mentors and funders, the goal is for each venture to impact one million people.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s philanthropic mission has always been to improve conditions for people around the world by working on social and environmental issues, including climate change, health systems, food security, and many others.

The partnership between the Unreasonable Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation focuses on using the resources and expertise of the two organizations to launch a Future Cities Accelerator.

Over 75 percent of humans will live in cities by the year 2050, so The Rockefeller Foundation has developed a strong focus on making cities more inclusive and resilient to major social and environmental challenges. In early April 2016, The Rockefeller Foundation reached out to Unreasonable Institute, one of its grantees from 2013.

Because The Rockefeller Foundation aimed to support highly innovative, early-stage organizations through this initiative, Unreasonable Institute’s matching experience was an ideal fit for the program objectives.

The Future Cities Accelerator provides access to exciting new programs designed to improve conditions in cities throughout the country. So far, 10 ventures have been funded. By partnering, the organizations capitalize on the skill sets of each to create a larger socio-economic impact.

Rice University and IBM Research

With the U.S. population rapidly aging, the need for senior care services is expanding dramatically. In most areas, there are too few caregivers and facilities to adequately respond to the needs of the aging population.

While Rice University has conducted extensive research on aging and its effects, IBM has the digital experience necessary to develop the technology to utilize that research.

The two organizations have teamed up to develop a multi-purpose robotic system that allows better care while also making it possible for elderly patients to remain in their homes. The system uses a set of sensors to monitor the patient’s home and provides data to track conditions and improve care options.

The university’s research complements the technological expertise of IBM, creating a philanthropic solution for the elderly that enables them to maintain their independence.

Coca-Cola and Pact

The Pact Foundation was established to support and give voice to children’s needs around the globe.

Coca-Cola’s philanthropic efforts share a similar philosophy and provide grants to benefit and improve the lives of women in diverse parts of the world. Pact has enjoyed a successful partnership with Coca-Cola dedicated to improving the economic empowerment of girls and women specifically in Southeast Asia.

Coca-Cola has donated millions to the effort, providing the funding necessary to positively impact the economic lives of women throughout the region.