Beyond the Cheque: How Venture Philanthropists Add Value

John, Rob (2007) Beyond the Cheque: How Venture Philanthropists Add Value. Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. (Unpublished)

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The venture philanthropy (VP) model provides a blend of performance-based development finance and professional services to social purpose organisations (SPOs) – helping them expand their social impact. This is a high-engagement, partnership approach analogous to the practices of venture capital in building the commercial value of companies. Its focus on building organisational capacity in entrepreneurial social purpose organisations, matching appropriate finance with strategic business-like advice, makes it a distinctive provider of capital.

The first working paper in this series explored the origins of VP and its development and expansion in Europe. Interest in VP models has grown rapidly in Europe since 2002, initially in the UK and Ireland, but today VP funds can be found across continental Europe including the Baltic States and central & eastern Europe. In Europe VP has strong links to the private equity and venture capital industry, due in part to the European Venture Philanthropy Association, a VP peer network founded by philanthropists from the private equity community. VP in Europe is generally well networked and markets itself as complementary to the more traditional philanthropic models of foundations and governmental funders.

This working paper examines the so-called ‘value add’ of VP – the advisory services provided to SPOs together with financial support. By surveying European VP organisations we explore what these advisory services are and how they are delivered, and the level of engagement with the organisation being supported. We have asked social entrepreneurs receiving VP support what they value most about value-added services and how they view a level of engagement not usually associated with social sector funders.

Item Type: Other Working Paper
Keywords: social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy
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Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2011 08:37
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2015 02:18
Funders: European Venture Philanthropy Association

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