Video Library Helping Foundations Make A Difference

An Integrated Approach to Social and Financial Return

Kat Rosqueta (Founding Executive Director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy) discusses how a foundation’s impact can go beyond grant making through program related investments and professional expertise. 

TRANSCRIPT

Ron: Kat given Julia’s skepticism do you think the foundation should limit its pursuit social impact simply to its grant-making?

Kat: So grant-making is the most traditional way people think about making a difference in the world. And if you think about what a grant is it is a payout of money with zero financial return in the hope that you’re doing that because you’re going to get a social impact return. And given your interest in trying to have as much money as possible to do good there are two other tools you might want to consider. One is a PRI, a program related investment and that’s a case where you still have a philanthropic purpose but there’s an opportunity where you might have either the capital back or maybe a small return so in a way you’re doing good and recycling that money to do even more good. That’s one tool. The other is that when I think about some of the most effective philanthropists they’re often effective because they are bringing what you said you have which is some professional experience to bear. And I’m thinking of the Fisher Family Foundation. Don Fisher like you, an entrepreneur, founder of the Gap. And one of the ways that he had impact was not just giving grants to the Kipp Foundation but actually recognizing that at the time that he met that nonprofit one of the biggest challenges that charter school management organizations had was understanding how they could build more schools faster. And nobody knew better how to build facilities faster than the founder of the gap. And he was able to bring that expertise in addition to the grant. So those are just two tools other than grant-making that you might want to consider.