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VENTURE PHILANTHROPY, EDUCATION & VALUES


Give and take Can you measure philanthropy deliverables? Paul Angwin explores the example of education grants in China.


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SIMPLE CALCULATION DOESN’T FACTOR IN LONG TERM AND COMMUNITY


he primary objective of philanthropy programs is long-term, sustainable impact on beneficiaries. Can we measure this?


Learning from giving lifecycles


We’ve learned that many of our clients have progressed through a ‘giving lifecycle’ before they reach us. They have often started their philanthropy by giving ad-hoc donations periodically or in response to disasters. They have then moved to supporting particular causes: writing rather large cheques each year with “hopes for the best” that a charity delivers to recipients. This donor lifecycle is normal and logical. But what comes next? Strategic philanthropy


must build in impact verification and measurement into each project. Across donors, NGOs, projects, technical sectors (e.g. health, education), and host country complexities there are various methods to measure impact. Unfortunately, these methods are not standardized. Nevertheless, demand is increasing for philanthropy


56 FAMILY OFFICE: THE FUTURE


programs to be more deliberate, financially and commercially efficient, and value building. A host of organizations have spent significant commitments specifically to the question of impact measurement. Large international and bilateral donors are particularly sophisticated in this space. There are a number of organizations and websites that focus on the discussion of impact measurement (e.g. BridgeSpan and SocialROI)


Philanthropy advisors It is the job of philanthropy advisors to synthesize these learnings and apply the best methodologies to your projects. Let’s take an example of education programs in China. A very simple cost analysis could compare the building and staffing of a primary school for 300 students in China that costs approximately USD$1,166 per student. In comparison, long term stipend support to a Chinese student to access the same school (boarding fees, uniforms and books) totals USD$420 per student over six years.


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