Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Venture Philanthropy Revamped

In a recent commentary by Susan Herr, founder of PhilanthroMedia, she expounds on "Venture Philanthropy 2.0."

Although the definition of venture philanthropy varies, Herr considers it to be the “efforts of high-net worth donors who invest significant time and money in exchange for clearly defined measures of success and the potential to generate greater than average social returns.”

Herr believes that Version 2.0 has become more sophisticated in the following ways:
  • Ambition has increase immensely. Donors don’t just want to make progress against global problems; they want to solve them.
  • Nonprofits aren’t the only game in town. Rather than having Type A philanthropists work with Type A executive directors to donate funds, new for-profit or hybrid models have entered the scene in order to help donors put their funds where they want.
  • Innovation has become more important than organization.
  • Rather than focusing on building the capacity of promising nonprofits, newer donations are being given to a larger array of cross-sectoral alliances.
These improvements have the potential to change a lot in the promotion of causes and the solving of global problems, despite the skepticism that surrounds the notion of venture philanthropy.
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