Venture Philanthropy: Untapped Potential or Unintended Consequences? Exploring Venture Capital Approaches in the Philanthropic Space [HRA Members Meeting, Virtual, Spring 2020]

Venture philanthropy does not come without its fair share of controversy. It remains a challenge for nonprofits, philanthropists, patients, start-ups and the general public to determine how – and if – we should combine philanthropy and for-profit strategies, even if the goal is to advance an organization’s mission as quickly as possible. Though venture philanthropy may have the potential to affect the pace of delivery of new treatments and translational research, there remain many considerations and challenges to choosing and implementing the most effective venture philanthropy model, including requirements for tracking grants and negotiating return of capital while staying true to the organization’s charitable purpose. This session featured an overview presentation on how to navigate the options available within the venture philanthropy space, and then had a moderated discussion and debate among several organizations that have applied these tools in unique ways within their grant-making portfolio. We heard about their decision processes that led to the development of their approaches, how their venture philanthropy is structured, and successes and challenges with their approaches.

Anne Hultgren, PhD
Executive Director | Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

Lisa Richter, MBA (Presentation)
Co-Founder and Managing Partner | Aviva Capital

Marco Baptista, PhD
Director, Research Programs | Michael J. Fox Foundation

Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD
CEO and Director of Scientific Affairs | Cancer Research Institute

Jason Menzo
Chief Operating Officer | Foundation Fighting Blindness