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"... [COVID-19] has exposed the fragility of our societies and economies to shocks, and it has laid bare deep inequalities... Everything we do during and after this crisis must be with a strong focus on building more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change, and the many other global challenges we face" 


April 28, 2020


​Governments have a huge role to play in scaling the fourth sector.
However, to succeed, it will take all of us! 


As individuals, we wear many hats – as a consumer, voter, employee, board member, or even as a parent, we can contribute to the growth of the fourth sector by supporting, recognizing and choosing it when we can.


Here are some ways anyone can help accelerate the growth of the fourth sector:

> See yourself in the picture...
Do you consider sustainable or for-benefit companies when you shop, invest, or vote? Have you thought about starting a social enterprise or know a friend who is doing so? Have you been developing a piece of the supportive ecosystem through your work? 

> Spread the word...
ost, tweet, blog, or talk about for-benefits and the emerging fourth sector as much as you can!

> Contact your representative...
Seeing the fourth sector requires a shift in mindset - reach out to your elected officials and ask them how they are leveraging the fourth sector to help us build back a better economy.

> Join, start or support an effort on this platform...
There is a massive amount of work to be done to scale this sector and its supportive ecosystem. Consider supporting or starting an initiative that helps recognize and scale the sector. <MORE>

> Help grow the Resource Library...

Are you an researcher, academic or represent a think tank? A vast amount of knowledge is needed for the fourth sector to thrive. Contribute to the Resource Library.


> Start or invest in a for-benefit that's responding to the crisis...
Now more than ever we need for-benefits to rise to the challenge - help grow this sector by investing in a for-benefit that's making a difference on an issue you care about. 

Accelerating the growth of the fourth sector presents an unprecedented opportunity to build better, more resilient economies. To unleash its transformative potential

, governments should take the necessary steps to engage the whole of society to participate in the sector’s development.

Key strategic interventions from businesses, policymakers, investors, academia, social innovators, and civil society are needed. 

Below are some ways to take action by role.

Scroll All Actions by Role

Take Action By Role:

Action by Role


Governments are well acquainted with their role as both enablers and regulators of the private and nonprofit sectors. This involves enactment of legislation that shapes the behavior of private businesses and philanthropic and charitable organizations, and the provision of the financial and capacity support that are needed for their innovation, growth, and long-term development.



Academia’s contribution to the proper and timely scaling of the fourth sector is enormous, as the entire intellectual infrastructure for the sector needs to be assimilated, built and disseminated.


Multilaterals & International Organizations

Multilaterals and international organizations are in a unique position to support the development of the fourth sector due to their regional and global knowledge, as well as their work with a myriad of stakeholders to stand up for policies and actions that drive prosperity for all and benefit the planet.



A significant portion of philanthropic resources are spent addressing issues that are downstream consequences of unsustainable business practices. Ironically, all philanthropic resources originate as byproducts of business activity, making the relationship between business and philanthropy a vicious cycle.



For-profit businesses have significant influence over the behavior of markets and can therefore play an enormous role in raising awareness, setting standards, directing demand, and driving innovation. Business leaders can pave the way to a 21st century economic system by helping legitimize and mainstream for-benefit enterprise.



Citizens can push for governments to support the develop of the necessary supportive ecosystem elements for the fourth sector to thrive (like access to aligned capital, education and training, and accounting and metrics).


Nonprofits & Civil Society

At their core, nonprofits are purpose-driven entities with social and environmental gains as their main goal. Thus, they can become validating partners to uphold the integrity of the fourth sector in ensuring for-benefits continuously put purpose before profit. 



Through its allocation of capital and oversight or stewardship of investees, the financial sector plays a key role in shaping the development and behavior of private enterprises. If finance and investment markets are unable to support socially beneficial enterprises due to the dominance of short-term profit-seeking and failure to properly account for or prioritize social and environmental impacts, then the whole economy is distorted and unbalanced.



Although for-benefit organizations have become increasingly important to creating prosperity in communities around the world, there is still a great deal of misunderstanding about what for-benefit organizations do and there is an absence of accessible global data on the sector.



Entrepreneurs are the drivers of growth for the fourth sector. They are problem solvers by nature, open to taking risks, discovering, and innovating. There are tens of millions of socially driven entrepreneurs starting new purpose-driven enterprises around the world each year.


Contribute & Stay Informed:
For expanded version of these recommendations & goals, or to contribute to them, simply submit your email below.

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