Believe me when I say, I have seen my fair share of NPO fiscal cliffs. I was chatting with a colleague the other day about the sustainability of organizations that rely on the public for funding programs, operations and the like. Needless to say, many organizations and the people who are employed by them have suffered at the hands of this archaic model. If the economy isn’t do well, NPOs will struggle to do well.
There was a recent feature in the New York Times that discussed the, “New Brand of Philanthropy.” The piece points out:
Philanthropy is taking its cues from Wall Street and Silicon Valley. The language of finance is so common that it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between an investment conference and a fund-raiser. Grants are referred to as investments, and public-private partnerships as innovations. Money used to buy vans, computers and buildings is called growth capital.
Philanthropists are looking to capitalists to help move the needle on the worlds most pressing problems.
The Gates Foundation,is taking a blended approach, combining grants with targeted investments. It has a $1 billion pool for investments and loans that further its philanthropic goals, and it spends more than $3 billion a year on traditional giving. It recently made equity investments in biotech companies like Visterra and Genocea, which are working on technologies that complement the foundation’s work in global health.
Corporations such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are spending big bucks to knock a dent into larger social issues.
This could be it folks. I just hope it isn’t a fad. Not only will the causes benefit, those in the sector will too.