The Value Proposition of Venture Philanthropy (Les promesses de la philanthropie de risque)
University of St. Gallen
August 1, 2007
Points de vue, pp. 58-66, 2007
To grasp the fundamental value proposition of venture philanthropy, this article looks at the example of Europe, where most venture philanthropy organizations (VPs) are currently small and experiment with many intervention models. Analogous to social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy - often also referred to as "high-engagement philanthropy" - has been the new show in town in philanthropy since the mid-nineties. Five trends are fuelling its rise to prominence: the general growth of more entrepreneurial approaches to social change; the increasing professionalization of civil society; increasing levels of wealth; the changing demographic composition of donors; and their greater desire for involvement in philanthropic ventures. Notwithstanding, the visibility of the venture philanthropy landscape continues to greatly exceed the actual volumes of philanthropic resources deployed. More and more philanthropists are intrigued by venture philanthropy's focus on identifying inflection points and assisting grantee organizations in mastering step changes, creating quality opportunities for involvement and demonstrable impact. But when does it make sense to get involved in venture philanthropy? And for whom? To make inferences about the opportunities the European venture philanthropy landscape offers, the paper looks at three issues: what are the main characteristics of VP organizations? As a driver of future practice, what is the "DNA" of venture philanthropy? Finally, what does this mean in terms of resource allocation? What conditions need to be present to make for a good match between VP and "investee"?
Note: Downloadable document is in French.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Keywords: Venture philanthropy, social entrepreneurship
JEL Classification: L31Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 5, 2009 ; Last revised: January 13, 2009
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