People MATTER. The latest from Scaling Pathways.

Just released—the latest from Scaling Pathways. 

Building and empowering a strong team is one of the universal challenges social ventures face—and it only gets more challenging as they scale. And yet, talent is often misunderstood, overlooked, and under-resourced.

In People Matter: Evolving Talent to Drive Impact at Scale you will find advice from the field, organized into brief Strategy Memos, to help your organization use talent to power scale. 

Building the Right Team to Scale Impact

Assembling the right mix of talent might mean evolving your team—shifting to more differentiated roles from a place where everyone wears multiple hats. It could mean hiring more local and diverse talent and/or leveraging partners and volunteers to extend your own team’s capacity. Whichever avenues you pursue, assembling the right team is critical to scale your impact effectively.

Creating the Infrastructure to Empower Talent

Even with the best people and partners in place, you will need more organizational structures and systems to manage and empower that talent and help it succeed. Do you centralize or decentralize control and decision-making? Do you evolve your board? How do you manage dispersed teams— whether those teams are internal or external to the organization?

How to Cultivate, Motivate, and Retain Talent

As you and your team navigate the bumpy road to scale, it’s critical to cultivate and motivate your talent to evolve with you and stay the journey. By intentionally updating and formalizing talent development, incentives, and culture, you can help your talent stay motivated and driven toward impact. Interviewees stressed that although culture is the underlying connective tissue that drives people, impact, and operations, it is too often ignored or poorly managed.

Read People Matter: Evolving Talent to Drive Impact at Scale (, and also check out our other resources at

Scaling Pathways is a partnership between the Skoll Foundation, USAID, Mercy Corps Ventures, and CASE at Duke to share insights from the field on the journey to impact at scale.