Venture philanthropy around the world

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Impetus-PEF is the pioneer of venture philanthropy in the UK. We maintain contact with a number of other leading venture philanthropy organisations across the world. 

Venture philanthropy (VP) takes concepts and techniques from venture capital and applies them to achieving a social, rather than a financial, return. VP takes a high-engagement approach and is characterised by the investee receiving management support and specialist expertise, as well as financial resources.

VP organisations tend to take a longer term view than traditional philanthropists do: funding commitments will often be made on a multi-year basis, typically from three to seven years. VP organisations usually focus on measurable outcomes: donors and investees assess progress based on mutually agreed benchmarks.

Impetus-PEF is an active and long-standing member of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) – a network of European social investors, venture philanthropists and foundations committed to using VP and social investment tools to target social impact. Additionally, Asia is currently one of the fastest international growth markets for venture philanthropy, and we maintain close ties with colleagues in the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN).

We are also part of a ‘best practice’ alliance with three other leading VP organisations, based in North America and in Australasia.  They are:

New Profit Inc.

Founded in the US in 1998, New Profit Inc. helps “visionary social entrepreneurs and their organisations bring about widespread and transformative impact on critical social problems.” New Profit works to fulfil this mission by providing financial and strategic support to selected social entrepreneurs and their organisations to help them create widespread impact. More on New Profit Inc.

LIFT Philanthropy Partners

LIFT launched in Canada in 2011 as a legacy of social innovator 2010 Legacies Now and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Based in Vancouver, LIFT invests in not-for-profit organisations to increase their growth, effectiveness and ability to deliver measurable social impact in the lives of Canadians. Its work focuses on to two areas: literacy and lifelong learning, to support skills training and employability; and sport and healthy living, to advance health and decrease the prevalence of chronic diseases. More on LIFT Philanthropy Partners.

Social Ventures Australia (SVA)

SVA “works with innovative non-profit organisations to increase their growth and impact to drive transformational social change”. Their activities are focused on three areas – supporting a selected portfolio of non-profit organisations, consulting to the broader non-profit sector and developing social sector partnerships. More on SVA.

Other leading VP organisations include:


Based in San Francisco, REDF “creates job opportunities through support of social enterprises that help people gain the skills to help themselves.” REDF-supported social enterprises have employed more than 3,700 people since their founding in 1997. More on REDF.

The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation supports organisations that help young people “from low-income backgrounds become independent, productive adults”. It makes large, long-term investments in non-profit organisations whose work has been proven to produce positive outcomes and that have the potential for growth. More on The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

Inspiring Scotland

Inspiring Scotland works to “change people’s lives for the better through significant long term funding and development support for Scotland’s charities”. Founded in 2009, its first fund is focused on young people between the ages of 14 and 19, who have not made a successful transition between school and further education, training or work. More on Inspiring Scotland.

One Foundation

Based in Dublin, Ireland, The One Foundation aims to “significantly improve the life chances of disadvantaged children and young people in Ireland and Vietnam.” It works to achieve this by supporting non-profit organisations that address poverty & disadvantage, mental health and integration of minorities. More on The One Foundation.

Venture philanthropy

For more information on venture philanthropy, read the Harvard Business School’s Venture Philanthropy: Its Evolution and Its Future.

Driving impact

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