LAMP Missions

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Grant Away: Why venture philanthropy is important, even if it sounds ridiculous.

A war of words and egos broke out in the philanthropy world a few years back, one that paralleled a similar clash in the business world. On one side were the new “venture” philanthropists, who, flush with cash and confidence after revolutionizing the technology industry, were hellbent on triggering a similar revolution in philanthropy. Whatever traditional philanthropists were doing, the venture philanthropists concluded, wasn’t working—society was still brimming with problems. Clearly, if you really wanted to save the world, you had to do more than write checks: You had to act. You had to find great people, help them build great social-service organizations, and then hold them accountable for their results. In other words, you had to attack social problems the way venture capitalists and entrepreneurs attacked business problems—with hands-on, we’re-in-this-together, failure-isn’t-an-option partnerships between investors and investees.

h/t Henry Blodget

Click here to read more from Slate’s philanthropy series.


Author: Eric

I have been married to my wife Laura since 1995, and live in Austin, Texas with our two children. I have participated in the sport of triathlon and investing for many years.

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