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Venture Philanthropy

Venture Philanthropy

Venture Philanthropy is an engaged approach to charitable giving which applies business principles to the voluntary sector. It enables donors to work with charities and social enterprises in a strategic way to build capacity and sustainability over the long-term. It adopts many of the core ideas of venture capitalism in that it can provide finance alongside specialist skills and expertise to organisations. Whereas venture capitalists aim to generate a financial return on investments, venture philanthropists are motivated by seeing a social return.

Some of the key features of venture philanthropy are:

  • A focus on building the capacity of a charity rather than funding projects and activities
  • Meeting specific and measurable outcomes
  • High-level engagement from the donors
  • Offering non-financial support through specialist expertise and guidance
  • A range of financing options, not just grants
  • Long-term support to bring about a social return on investment

For an introduction to Venture Philanthropy and where to find out more information, review this summary by Cheviot Asset Management click here, and for a list of signposts produced by the Community Foundation in Wales for its venture philanthropy seminar last year click here. Two companies leading the way in venture philanthropy are the Impetus Trust and Pilotlight, who combine serious investment with skills and experience to make a real impact.


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