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


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

The Future of Digital Fundraising

As strange as it may seem, raising money online is still in its infancy. The legal ramifications of crowdfunding have just recently been faced squarely by regulators and governments and the next steps in both capital formation and non-profit and charitable giving are right around the corner. With the steady stream of news articles about online funding scams, it’s no surprise that people are still so hesitant to use this medium. From stories of funerals and hospital bills to tales of woe, there’s currently no regulation in place to protect prospective donors. The companies with the biggest stakes in the fundraising future are obviously the social media platforms, which are in a headlong race to deploy front-ends for all manner of crowdfunding features.

The success of non-profit organizations is entirely dependent on budgeting and efficiency. For donors, patrons, and the companies they support, things have to become more practical. Since non-profits and technology go together so well, there are some new concepts you should consider looking into if you plan to raise money in the near future.

Equity Sharing

Commercial companies are bound to discover that equity will be the killer feature in any crowdfunding project going forward. Capital markets discovered the wealth-building power of equity sharing decades ago, and while governments can’t and won’t allow future online capital markets to become a free-for-all, the tools now exist to not only realize the dream of buying a share of your dream project but also to automate and regulate such projects. This is not only for the benefit of shareholders but also for the overall growth of electronic commerce.

Digital Currencies

Non-profits and charity fundraising efforts are very likely to become early adopters of digital currencies for a number of reasons. One of the primary motivators will be the robust and unalterable record-keeping of the blockchain, which will lead to a more exact record-keeping of tax deductions, as well as disclosures on people’s charitable giving. A cottage industry is likely to spring up around this feature of the blockchain, alongside several companies that will work with non-profits to invest or spend the digital coins they have collected.

Virtual Assistants

Advertising, marketing and customer service are among the numerous obligations that smaller non-profit players would love to either outsource or automate. With the emphasis on chatbots and virtualized customer care platforms now underway in technology circles, online services will soon combine with listening applications like Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana to produce a “reassurance engine” that will not only prevent ejections by nervous contributors but turn them into repeat and upsold contributors instead.


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


Philanthropic activities have changed in recent periods such that philanthropists are more focused on ensuring that they support sustainable factors and improve the environmental conditions surrounding them. There is a significant number of non-government organizations involved in philanthropic activities to impact sustainability. Here are some essential charitable activities that actively support sustainability efforts.

Funding Tree Planting
Tree planting is one of the most critical activities falling under the category of sustainability. It plays a crucial role in preserving the environment. Trees prevent soil erosion and add nutrients to the soil for agricultural production. There are thousands of philanthropic activities directed towards tree planting in a bid to protect the environment. Other advocacy plans have already been developed to prevent tree felling.

Ocean Cleaning
One of the most significant environmental challenges that the world is facing pertains to the disposal of waste materials into the oceans. There are thousands of companies that direct their sewerage into the ocean, creating an unsafe environment for aquatic wildlife and humans alike. There has been an emergence of not-for-profit organizations engaging in fundraising efforts that aim to rid oceans of pollution and plastics.

Clean Energy Production
Increase in energy demand for corporate and domestic consumption has led to a significant increase in production using water and coolants. These methods, however, are considered unsustainable as they interfere with water supply while increasing the level of harmful gases in the atmosphere. A large number of non-government organizations are encouraging the use of alternative methods of energy production. Examples include the funding of wind power energy which is considered more sustainable.

Gabion Constructions
Gabions are important physical structures that play a critical role in preventing soil erosion while at the same time preventing water from moving at a higher speed leading to the destruction of properties. A large number of organizations have been involved in corporate social responsibilities that include the construction of gabions and other barriers that prevent soil erosion.

Organic Farming
One of the leading causes of environmental destruction is the use of chemicals in agricultural production. Many large plantations use fertilizers which harm the soil and the microorganisms that call it home. However, a large number of organizations have been raising funds to support organic/biological farming which eschews the use of harmful chemicals.

This post was originally published on matthewgorelik.info