What We Do
We connect individual members, scientists, and farmers.
Individual members come from different walks of life, not just foundation leaders or international development professionals. They have the opportunity to learn and to serve on committees that choose specific projects under the advice of experts and farmers.
Agricultural scientists receive grants to work on problems farmers face in producing food in developing countries. Typically, those grants have a 5-digit annual budget per project. Grow Further partners with private companies and governments to help take successful ideas to scale.
Farmers use innovations to produce more nutritious, profitable, and climate-change ready crops and livestock. They are also the source of many of the ideas that scientists test or develop and remain engaged through a project life cycle.
Our Business Model
Building community around supporting innovation is a proven, powerful model. Rotary International played a key role in developing a polio vaccine and nearly eradicating the disease. Angel investment groups have gotten countless world-changing companies off the ground, and according to some studies offered their members returns at least as high as those of professionally managed venture capital funds.
It has worked because it cuts through bureaucracy, bringing in outside perspectives, cutting costs, and making it possible to consider smaller, earlier-stage projects.
In our case, when members, particularly those who are immigrants from developing countries where we work, have skin in the game, it becomes possible to engage volunteers and informal networks. And just being a public charity cuts down on paperwork requirements. We appreciate the contributions of the civil servants, foundation staff members, and venture capitalists who recognize the strengths of our model and have stepped up to support us in a personal capacity.
It’s essentially a giving circle run like an angel investment group for the sourcing, screening, and evaluating of grants to agricultural scientists in developing countries. There will be different types of investment circles, some built around geography and others around existing groups such as alumni associations, and the ratio of in-person to virtual communications will vary from one group to another.
Members who are interested and available to serve on a committee will learn about a specific area of agricultural research and help choose specific projects for the group to support under the guidance of an international network of experts serving in advisory capacities.
Some minority of committee members contribute informal expertise through farming experience or family ties to the countries the research aims to benefit.
Useful results are shared with farmers through dealers and agricultural extension agents, with other scientists through publications and conferences, and in some cases with policy-makers. Farmers see higher incomes, consumers see lower priced or more nutritious food, the environment sees less pressure on natural resources, or some combination.
Farmers provide feedback to scientists through ongoing partnerships and to Grow Further through market research.
Members learn, network, and support meaningful work through committees, social and educational activities, and volunteering.