What is Venture Philanthropy?

Philanthropy is a broad field covering an array of topics in an even greater pool of categories. To further complicate the matter, new philanthropic trends have resulted in specific branches where there previously were none. These delineations tend to go beyond writing anonymous checks to whichever organization requests funding and expand into a realm where donors expect proof that their contribution will help to solve relevant issues. Examples include angel philanthropy, impact philanthropy, enterprise philanthropy, and catalytic philanthropy.

Each of the above examples works to accomplish a particular goal in a strategic manner.  Venture philanthropy is the term used to describe the targeted nature of philanthropic branches. Charitable avenues that fall under the venture philanthropy category are required to have more purpose and should be driven by responsibility and results.  Not all venture philanthropy efforts are the same, but most of them encompass the following identifying characteristics.

Strategic Framing – a calculated way of allocating assets like grants or investments so that they stand the best chance of making the most impact on an entire system.

Scales of Intervention – a process that requires organizations to focus on entire sectors or systems as opposed to solitary projects or individualized efforts.

Sector Focuses – several branches of philanthropy incorporate sector focuses. Venture philanthropy tends to overlap focuses and incorporate multiple social levels including government, markets, and civil society.

Blended Funding Mechanisms – A strategic mix of grants and investments that varies by cause but is dictated by the theory of change.

Extended Interactions – a direct, hands-on approach to engagement both with and among grantees.

Long Engagement Periods  – lengthened campaign timelines that account for the amount of time it takes to change an entire system as opposed to a single aspect of said system.

Impact Measurement – continuous monitoring of progress and its effect on the overall impact on the final goal, with the ability to adapt should an effort be proven unworthy.

Branches of venture philanthropy are also said to operate within a culture that better reflects their goals. They are more experimental and innovative, and foster capabilities that demonstrate this culture.

The concept of venture philanthropy is still evolving and with it so are the industry practices. In order for the field to succeed, participants will need to embrace the transparency that younger generations have grown to expect from all of the organizations they encounter.  As consumers gather additional information about the exact impact of their philanthropic efforts, we can expect that they will vocalize opinions on best practices thus shifting the paradigms and forcing a more concrete definition of the field.

This article was originally posted on http://matthewgorelik.info

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Understanding Rage Giving

Rage donations are just how they sound. As individuals find themselves up in arms over current events, local issues or politics, they are also fueled by a strong desire to give to whichever missions share their same values. While all donations stand to benefit charitable organizations, nonprofits need to make sure they are prepared for this new trend in giving because this is a different demographic.

Most average donations are fueled by an emotional response to a story, but rage donations are primarily fueled by anger. While it is beneficial for these organizations to receive donations, when anger is involved, nonprofits need to be careful about what story is being told and how donations are being spent.

While rage donations are initially inspired by negativity, these gifts can be welcomed with positivity when organizations focus on what actions to take. Organizations should use the following strategies to create an action plan in the event of rage donations: staff should be trained on what to say when talking to partners and donors, as well as when responding to posts on social media. In order to properly prepare for the attention that rage donation brings along, it’s important that an organization reinforces their protocols on speaking with the media.

Another problem is that far too many organizations fail to update their website, ultimately making it difficult for would-be donors to find out more information about these nonprofits. By keeping their websites updated, these charitable organizations will be ready in the event of a rage donation frenzy. During the firestorm that typically accompanies rage giving, most donors will ask the same questions repeatedly. By having this information readily available on an FAQ page, organizations will be able to streamline the donation process.

Taking advantage of rage donations requires team members of a nonprofit to know how to ask for donations. By detailing what exactly an organization needs, staff members will be able to help donors make an informed decision. There are websites such as RageDonate.com that have done research and compiled various groups to then let people decide which charities they want to help.

Rage giving may be a trend that was originally born out of anger, but it can evolve into an act of giving that can seriously benefit organizations and nonprofits that need it the most. Founders of nonprofits and charities should keep these strategies in mind to make sure they are prepared for this new wave of charitable giving.

This article was originally posted on http://matthewgorelik.info