EVPA Supports the Growth of the Venture Philanthropy Sector with the Strengthening of Its Field-building Activities

Dublin, 13 November 2012 – After nearly a decade of ongoing promotion and expansion of the venture philanthropy model, the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) will considerably increase its efforts to better support and expand the impact of social purpose organisations.

It has become clear that many key players are taking a more systematic approach to societal challenges, and are increasing and/or launching venture philanthropy initiatives, focused on strengthening organisations as a whole as key to sustainable change. The EU for instance has recently launched the Social Business Initiative aimed at creating a more favourable environment for innovative social enterprises. Furthermore, with the economic crisis persisting in Europe, the need for new models is more pertinent than ever. These evolutions have convinced EVPA to increase its offer to support the venture philanthropy and social investment sector and to invest in a more solid infrastructure and further dissemination of knowledge, adapting to both the needs of newcomers and experienced investors and grant-makers from the sector.

EVPA Chairman Serge Raicher commented: “It is great to see how the impact first community is recognized as a catalyst for social change. From grant to equity investment, from light touch advice to hands-on value add, EVPA members lead on social innovation and continuously search for new ways to support social entrepreneurs.”

This is why EVPA organises its annual conference, taking place on November 13 and 14 in Dublin, under the theme of “Backing the change-makers in a time of uncertainty: can we do more?”. During this conference, participants hear experts involved in the EU Social Business Initiative, learn about innovative initiatives such as the U.S. Social Innovation Fund, debate with experienced and new venture philanthropy organisations, and visit world class Irish social entrepreneurs.

Next to this, the outcomes of the EVPA Knowledge Centre’s Impact Measurement initiative, run throughout 2012 and aimed at developing best practice on how to measure social impact, will be presented during the pre-conference workshop (12-13 November).
EVPA has also decided to strengthen its role as a thought leader by advancing its research capacities, investing further in training to increase and facilitate learning for venture philanthropy players and by expanding its membership services.

EVPA is proud to announce that a first structural partner has signed up to support these new initiatives: Omidyar Network – a philanthropic investment firm which helps scale innovative organisations to catalyse economic and social change. Vineet Bewtra, Director of Investments at Omidyar Network, commented the partnership with EVPA: “Omidyar Network is happy to support EVPA and its mission. EVPA has established itself as the leading European network across venture philanthropy and impact investing by doing two things exceptionally well; building the strongest network of stakeholders across Europe and consistently being at the forefront in cultivating innovative thought in the sector.“

EVPA is delighted about the possibility to expand its current efforts in the next few years.

EVPA is the pioneer in building and monitoring the growth and development of the venture philanthropy industry in Europe. The EVPA Knowledge Centre published key data on the VP industry earlier this year, demonstrating its impact with over €1 billion invested in social purpose organisations. The EVPA Knowledge Centre will provide an update of the study within the coming months.