Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Dilution of the Term Venture Philanthropy

In a recent post on this blog I discussed Jacqueline Novogratz who founded one of the early venture philanthropy funds, the Acumen Fund.  She and her collaborators have gone to great pains to organize their philanthropy along the lines of a venture capital firm.  But the working definition of venture philanthropy is broad and slippery.  To take one example, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports on the activities of the "billionaire philanthropist, Eli Broad," and quotes him as claiming that he, too, is a venture philanthropist.  Why?  Because "he wants to see results."  Is that all it takes?  I suppose then that we are all venture philanthropists.


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