Learning from failures in venture philanthropy and social investment

Learning from failures in venture philanthropy and social investment
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"Learning from failures in venture philanthropy and social investment" is a helpful catalogue of your predecessors’ experiences, and their advice on how to turn failure into success.

In order to provide you with some insight into this maturing sector, EVPA has collected the experiences and lessons from twelve of its member organisations. Our aim is to share the lessons they took away from failure with other practitioners.

This report looks at strategies and investments that failed and the reasons why. Outlining risk mitigation strategies, the guide focuses on managing risk in venture philanthropy strategy and/or social investment organisation, as well as in the execution of specific investments.

The causes of failure were grouped into three main categories:

  1. issues related to the organisational risk
  2. strategic risk (misalignments in the development of the investment strategy of the venture philanthropy organisation)
  3. execution risk (failures in the execution of the investment strategy)

This report is the result of several years of extensive research through the annual EVPA industry survey, EVPA workshops, in-depth interviews with CEOs from twelve VP/SI organisations and a consultation on earlier drafts with the same experienced practitioners. Where possible, we corroborated stories and individual cases with data from the field.

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