An Example of Leadership through Partnership

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November 21, 2019
IGS employees at a GRID install

Partnership is central to the mission of GRID Alternatives and IGS is a great example of what a true partner looks like. A leader in delivering energy solutions to residential and commercial customers, IGS is one of GRID’s largest supporters of our International Program. Their multi-year support has enabled GRID to deepen our impact by bringing clean energy, clean air and clean water to more people in Nicaragua, Nepal and Mexico.

IGS’s ongoing philanthropic support of GRID Alternatives’ International Program has made a world of difference. Over the past four years, 50 IGS employees traveled from Ohio and Pennsylvania to Nicaragua and Mexico with GRID to install more than 85kW of solar electricity. The volunteers participated in GRID’s week-long service learning curriculum, exploring the importance of sustainable development while participating in hands-on solar installations alongside 20 local job trainees and community volunteers. IGS’s support of their employees’ professional development by providing an immersive volunteer experience deepens employees’ connection to their work while supporting underserved communities. IGS support over the last four years has helped GRID bring solar to six different communities, powering four orphanages, 18 off-grid homes and a rural farm with reliable solar electricity.  

In addition to sponsoring projects that are installed by IGS employees, IGS also supports our International Program with multi-year unrestricted funding. This type of funding is critical for GRID to be able to have the programmatic flexibility to plan ahead, explore new technologies, improve existing programs and fund all of the parts and pieces of our work that deliver high-impact results. Multi-year unrestricted funding means GRID can make long-term plans to deliver the most impact, rather than jumping from grant to grant and project to project.  

The reality is that nonprofits like GRID have ongoing costs like staff salaries, office space, IT services, and health care for employees that are required to run a program that delivers lasting impacts. IGS’s unrestricted philanthropic support respects that nonprofits are the implementation experts and demonstrates that IGS understands the importance of how long-term strategic planning leads to sustainable development. Their support helps us further our mission to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. 

In a recent meeting with the Jen Bowden, Director of Social Impact at IGS, Jen shared with us how IGS chooses partners and how they developed an intricate model to measure impact. Their thoughtful approach to impact measurement is an example for other companies to follow, carefully selecting mission-aligned organizations like GRID to support and tracking the positive impact they have on their employees, their customers, their community, and the environment. 

IGS’s support has transformed GRID’s International Program, allowing us to expand our work to Mexico and Nicaragua, hire and support diverse in-country staff and have the breathing room to strategically choose projects and programs that make sense for the communities we work with. We are grateful for the generosity of IGS and their commitment to environmental and community sustainability.  We simply could not do the work we do without partners like IGS that invest in improving people’s lives.

Want to partner with GRID's International Program as well? Send us an email at international@gridalternatives.org to start the conversation.