This paper describes the analytic work the authors undertook to support a broader research and engagement effort led by the Bridgespan Group around developing a set of big bets, or strategic investments that philanthropic actors could make to improve social mobility. The paper provides a technical explanation for the projected impact of the bets, which we calculated using the Social Genome Model.
This analysis focused on six key bets, or pathways for improving social mobility, which Bridgespan identified in consultation with experts at the Urban Institute. These six areas of focus were 1) improving early childhood development, (2) establishing viable pathways to careers, (3) reducing unintended pregnancies, (4) decreasing overcriminalization and overincarceration, (5) creating place-based strategies to improve access to opportunity across regions, and (6) building continuous learning and improvement capacity of social service providers. Using the Social Genome Model, the authors were able to size the potential impact of investments in these core areas.