Caroline Whistler



Third Sector

CEO and Co-founder


Caroline Whistler is co-founder and CEO of Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc., where she leads the firm’s work accelerating America’s transition to a performance-driven social sector. Under her leadership, Third Sector has transitioned more than $800M in public funding to outcomes-oriented contracts, focusing those resources on improving solutions for key social issues including homelessness, mental illness and family economic mobility. Third Sector has grown to serve more than 40 state and local government jurisdictions, with strategic partnerships including: New Profit, the Ballmer Group, the Kresge Foundation, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, and the Stanford University Center on Poverty and Inequality. Under Caroline’s leadership, the firm has become an established national nonprofit with offices in three cities, 50+ employees and a $7.7M operating budget.

Caroline is recognized nationally as a leading expert in Pay for Success and outcomes-oriented contracting. In 2016, the Chronicle of Philanthropy named her to their “40 Under 40” list recognizing nonprofit and philanthropic leaders who are driving forward innovative solutions to pressing problems. In the same year she was also recognized by Living Cities as one of the country’s “25 Disruptive Leaders” working to improve economic outcomes for low-income people in America’s cities.

Caroline co-founded Third Sector after completing a Fulbright Fellowship in Brazil researching nonprofit sustainability. Prior to Third Sector, she worked at Nonprofit Finance Fund where she structured growth capital campaigns that raised an estimated $320 million for nonprofits. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University where she studied Political Science and African-American Studies, and was a Robertson Scholar.

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