Venture Philanthropy in Development – Dynamics, Challenges and Lessons in the Search for Greater Impact

The concept of venture philanthropy is fast rising as an alternative and sustainable solution for foundations. Though still an idea that is yet to be well understood in Africa, venture philanthropy is being touted as the next big thing in philanthropy. So, what are the key trends, success stories, challenges and opportunities? What are the key lessons from Foundations that have adopted it?

The East Africa Association of Grantmakers and the Global Network of Foundations Working for Development (OECD NetFWD) in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation (Africa) hosted a learning session to launch the Venture Philanthropy in Development – Dynamics, Challenges and Lessons in the Search for Greater Impact study. The two hour session was held on 27th May 2013 at the Rockefeller Foundation offices from 10am- 12pm facilitated by Bathylle Missika, the head of OECD Network of Foundations Working for Development (NetFWD) and deputy head of the policy dialogue division, OECD Development Centre.

Being the first launch in Africa, the objective of the session was to discuss the study report and relate some of the key findings to the local context and realities. The event drew 20 leaders from the corporate and private foundations, impact investors, CSR executives, philanthropists, representatives from the public sector and other development organizations in Kenya.

This study that was conducted by the OECD NetFWD aimed at examining the journey, enabling environment, incentives and drivers that led a number of Foundations to (re)define their operating model associated with the commonly used term of “venture philanthropy”. It offered lessons and recommendations drawn from these new forms of engagement, their impact and the way they can influence or help leverage the work of other development stakeholders. The report reflected on case studies of leading global foundations including the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, the Lundin Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Shell Foundation, alongside the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development.

To see a brief of the discussions, please click here.

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