In Boston, a Fund Seeks Promising Nonprofits to Tackle Social Ills

A Boston Nonprofit Imports Top Groups to Fight Poverty 2

Reba Saldanha, for The Chronicle

John Simon (left), co-founder of the GreenLight Fund, meets with representatives of Friends of the Children, a group that provides 12 years of mentorship to kids at risk of dropping out of school.

For the past 15 years, philanthropists have poured money into the national offices of high-performing charities to help them start operations in new cities.

The GreenLight Fund, in Boston, is also focused on helping the best charities grow, but it inverts the process. The nine-year-old nonprofit organization first canvasses the city to uncover Boston’s greatest needs and then scours the country to find growing and proven charities that can be imported to combat the local