Catalysts for change: How philanthropists are forging new paths to long-lasting impact


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New research released by Scorpio Partnership and the Charities Aid Foundation explores different approaches to philanthropy and how they are evolving as cultures, attitudes and technology change.

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Catalysts for change: How philanthropists are forging new paths to long-lasting impact

  1. 1. Registered charity number 268369CATALYSTSFORCHANGEHow philanthropists are forgingnew paths to long-lasting impact
  2. 2. CONTENTSForeword3In brief 4Challenge of a lifetime 5Problem solving 6-7Chain reaction 8-10Feeling adventurous? 11-12Positive returns 13-14Young entrepreneurs 15-21Mission critical 22Be a catalyst for change 23Copyright © Charities Aid Foundation 2013All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.
  3. 3. 3Welcome to the second paper inour series exploring the future ofphilanthropy. Our aim is to inspirethoughtful giving by explainingsome of the emerging themes ofphilanthropy, and examining whatimpact they may have on the future.In the first paper, The Future Stars of Philanthropy1,we looked to the next generation and found that theyare looking at the world around them, and finding newways to tackle the big themes. In this paper, we examinehow these forward-thinking individuals are creatingcatalysts for social change in our increasingly complexand interconnected world.At the core of much of today’s complexities are theforces of globalisation, which may have made theworld seem infinitely smaller than a generation ago, buthave also made its challenges seem far greater. Thesechallenges beg the question: how can philanthropy andphilanthropists respond with enough leverage toachieve lasting change?FOREWORDIs it time for us all to start thinking bigger?This paper explores how donors, business leaders andentrepreneurs are shaping and moulding new forms ofphilanthropy aimed at creating an effective response tosocial challenges big and small. And how, by encouragingphilanthropists to use their resources in the most effectiveway, they have real opportunity to have a positive impacton some of the most intransigent of problems.We are delighted to have had the support of JasonFranklin, Stephen Dawson and Ben Goldsmith forthis paper and we would like to thank them for theircontributions. We would also like to thank the youngsocial entrepreneurs and activists whose stories haveenriched this report.Jo Ensor,Director of Philanthropy
  4. 4. 4INBRIEFThis paper explores different approaches to philanthropy and how they are evolving as cultures,attitudes and technology change. We consider how these drivers may be the catalysts for changethat will transform the future for communities worldwide.Philanthropy in a smaller, more connected worldGlobalisation and the technology revolution make the world smaller and more interdependent, butat the same time its challenges can seem much larger. To meet these challenges, wealthy giversare thinking more strategically about how to put their philanthropic capital to use. Above all, theyare looking for ways to ensure their gifts make a difference, which in turn is leading to exciting andinnovative developments in the field of philanthropy.Grants to investmentsIn particular, forward-thinking philanthropists are drawing on the business world for ideas that canmobilise skills and capital to tackle the world’s most difficult social problems.For example, social ventures are encouraged to become self-sustaining by generating revenue.Their investors, often called venture philanthropists or social investors, are encouraged to put theircapital into such projects with the incentive that they may get their money back – sometimes withinterest. This approach of combining financial and social returns is referred to as blended value andit is starting to take off in a big way. Between 2010 and 2011, 50 venture philanthropy firms acrossEurope were garnering investments in the region of $1bn2.Redefining corporate valuesAt the same time, the younger generation is significantly more likely to prioritise social responsibilityin the corporate environment than those in the older generation. In fact, 42% of under 30s believethat campaigning for important social issues is of equal or more importance than profitability whenguiding a company’s operations (vs. 26% of over 45s).We also find that young entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs are bringing these attitudes intotheir own wealth creation, their investments and their charitable activities – and are more willing toaccept that profit is not the only consideration. In turn, this suggests that blended value may indeedbecome a catalyst for long-term social change.Whether through venture philanthropy, social investment or how they do business,new philanthropists are at the cutting edge of change in the charitable space.2EVPA, The European Venture Philanthropy Industry 2010/2011, June 2012
  5. 5. 5CHALLENGEOFALIFETIMEThe start of the 21st century is unlike the start of anyother century in history: not only are there four timesas many people alive in this century compared to theprevious two3, the technology that connects us is woveninto the fabric of our global community. This technologyis fast emerging as a harness for human creativity,meaning the possibilities for change in our world aregreater and more exciting than ever before.However, one of the challenges of living in a worldwithout limits is that the boundaries are blurringbetween local and global, between the individualand society. So, while the world may suddenly seeminfinitely smaller, its problems are magnified on a trulymind-bending scale.These changing dynamics have profound implicationsfor the future of philanthropy, because the need for localand personal charity remains undiminished. At the sametime only collaboration of unparalleled proportions willhave an impact on the bigger picture.It is with this backdrop that the traditional tools ofphilanthropy are being re-examined.Complementary concepts like strategic philanthropy,venture philanthropy, social enterprise, social investmentand impact investment are coming to the fore todescribe approaches to social change that are overtlyoutcome-oriented.These new approaches are forged from the samedesire – to end suffering and to do good. Their aim isto ramp up the power of philanthropy by introducingan element of strategy and entrepreneurial drive.At the furthest reaches of this experimentation,philanthropy is being fused with business to createa new breed of entrepreneurial social ventures.A step further still and we even find socially-mindedentrepreneurs bringing a strong element of socialresponsibility into their commercial enterprises.All these activities share a common purpose: tomaximise the resources available in order to take on theworld’s toughest challenges.Nowhere are these ideas finding a keener audiencethan among a new generation of entrepreneurs.Socially networked, globally aware, and fired with‘just-do-it’ verve, young entrepreneurs are finding newways to bring social values to their businesses.3Population Reference Bureau and United Nations, World Population Projections to 2100
  6. 6. 6PROBLEMSOLVINGThe idea of strategic philanthropy is nothing new.Anyone who simply asks the question: ‘what changedo I want to see as a result of this gift?’ is a strategicphilanthropist at some level. No doubt, all of history’sgreatest philanthropists have been inspired by thisthought in their work.What is new in our shrinking world is our perceptionof the scale of the challenges and the urgency of theneed. So, while traditional philanthropy has alwaysaimed to alleviate suffering, donors who contemplatethe challenges of the 21st century are faced with widerhorizons and a growing awareness of the limitations oftheir resources.It is from this well-spring that modern strategicphilanthropy has been born. Strategic philanthropistsof the 21st century are not only bringing an enquiringapproach, but a whole decision-making framework totheir giving in order to maximise the impact of everypound or dollar they give.As part of their framework, strategic philanthropistsoften focus on just a small number of causes. And,having narrowed down their options, they research thedifferent kinds of organisations in their field of interestto work out where their money, knowledge, time andnetwork could really make a difference.Many strategic givers will agree on success criteria withthe grantee organisations and will monitor their progress.Put simply, strategic philanthropy is an enquiringapproach to giving that balances emotional drivewith rational decision-making, explains Jason FranklinExecutive Director of Bolder Giving.Jason is a self-confessed philanthropy geek. Havingstarted his career as a community organiser, he wasasked by his grandfather to get involved with the familyfoundation. “The more I got involved, the more focusedI became on how our giving could create systemicchange,” he explains.He recognised that the family’s philanthropiccapital would inevitably only stretch so far, and hisconclusion was that the money would need to beconcentrated in niche areas if it was going to haveany meaningful impact.So, he produced a giving plan focused on six areas,which he updates each year. He explains that theplan is important because it allows him to say ‘no’,especially to requests where he does not think hisgiving will make a difference. Instead, he cherry picksorganisations and projects within his main scope offocus where he thinks his money, his network and hisinfluence can make a difference.One organisation he supports re-grants to grassroots organisations with a particular focus on socialchange advocacy programmes. In one initiative, thatorganisation successfully campaigned for a Bill of Rightsfor domestic workers in the United States. That singleprogramme has had a positive impact on the conditionsand security of 280,000 workers.“With the resources I have in a country as large as theUnited States, I cannot be the lead funder in a socialchange programme. But, by picking the organisationsI support, I can still make a significant difference,”comments Jason.
  7. 7. “It is a different approach to giving from just supportingcauses that tug at the heart strings,” he says, but heinsists that his questioning, strategic approach to givingis balanced by emotion.“One of my six areas of giving is what I call my ‘impulsefund’. From this fund, I give to causes that touch meduring the year. I started my impulse fund because Ifound when I was being very strategic, I was becomingless excited about my giving,” he explains.“I would say even if you want to be highly strategicabout your giving, it is important to be flexible andallow yourself to engage in your philanthropy at anemotional level.”In summary, strategic philanthropy is fundamentally ananalytical approach to giving that aims to get the mostfrom the donor’s money. While it may be nothing new,it remains innovative because its questioning approachconstantly puts strategic givers at the cutting edge ofphilanthropic thinking.Indeed, not only are these individual givers able tokeep tally of their own successes, their outcome-focusmeans they are often more willing to try new strategiesand collaborate with others. In combination, theseare powerful forces to create the targeted leveragenecessary to tackle difficult social problems.“Strategic philanthropy is whenthe emotional side of givingis balanced by questions like:what do I hope will happen;how will the world be different;and, which are the opportunitieswhere my time and resourcecan make a difference?”Jason FranklinBolder Giving
  8. 8. CHAINREACTIONIndeed, through innovative thinking, the ideas atthe core of 21st century strategic philanthropy havesparked a wider movement focused on the challengeof mobilising capital and resources to tackle big andintransigent social problems.Closely related to strategic philanthropy is a spectrumof activity known as venture philanthropy, whichincorporates social investment as well as grantmaking.Where strategic philanthropy asks the question,‘how can my capital and resources make a difference?’these other approaches are trying to provide answers.Venture philanthropists take their inspiration fromthe world of business as a model for mobilising largeamounts of capital. By bringing a business approach totheir giving and even experimenting with new forms ofinvestment, venture philanthropists have a wider rangeof tools at their disposal to tackle difficult problems.At the forefront of this new movement are pioneers likeStephen Dawson. As a founder trustee of the EuropeanVenture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) and co-founderof Impetus Trustand Jacana Partners,there are fewpeople in the world with as much hands-on experienceof what it means to be a venture philanthropist.Impetus is a leading UK venture philanthropy partnerand Jacana Partners invests in small businesses in Africaseeking strong financial and social returns.It was during his career leading a venture capitalfirm that Stephen was first infected by the venturephilanthropy bug.“I read an article in the Harvard Business Review in 1997called Virtuous Capital – What Foundations can learnfrom Venture Capital and it spoke to me. I didn’t knowanything about charity, but this article suggested therewere areas where people like me could add value.”Stephen put the article on file and it was later when heretired from his career in the City that he thought moreabout how venture philanthropy could be applied in aEuropean context.“If you want to achieveleverage, you have toapproach your philanthropyas an investment and thegoals have to be bold”Stephen DawsonVenture philanthropist
  9. 9. 9“Nobody was doing it in Europe, but I could see therewas value added. It was the complementary approachof taking the best of the business world and the bestof the charity world and creating something new. And,because it was called venture philanthropy, people likeme just got it.”Venture philanthropists think of their grants asinvestments with clearly defined goals and objectives.Where appropriate, they even encourage granteeorganisations to develop independent revenue streamsthat can replace grant-based funding, thus making theorganisation more self-sustaining.And, to help their investments succeed, they may alsotap their professional networks to engage colleaguesand contacts who have the relevant skills to help granteeorganisations to get off the ground.Since the financial crisis, Stephen believes this business-like, goal-oriented approach to funding has a moreimportant role than ever before.“It is all about getting the biggest bang for your buck.That has become even more important since thefinancial crisis because whether you are a government oran individual philanthropist it is important to get morefor less,” he says.Indeed, many venture philanthropists believe the logic ofbusiness can be taken further still in the social sector. Theyargue that not only is it possible to bring an investmentapproach to philanthropy, it is also possible to createinvestment vehicles to channel money from multipleinvestors into social ventures in ways that generatesocial returns or even financial returns.In Stephen’s view, venture philanthropy approaches siton a spectrum with traditional philanthropy, see Figure1.1. But, because philanthropic capital is limited andcan only stretch so far, he believes it should be usedfor problems where an investment solution cannot befound. In particular, he believes philanthropic capital hasa role to play in building capacity in new social areas, sothat other kinds of investment capital can follow.“Philanthropic capital is precious”, he explains,“and should be used where investment cannot or willnot go: to seed, to prove ideas and to create capacity.Those enterprises will then be ready for other kindsof investment.”Stephen would certainly not have regarded himselfas a traditional philanthropist, and yet for many donorsthis kind of approach to problem-solving strikes a chord.In June 2012, 50 venture philanthropy organisationsthat are members of the EVPA contributed data ontheir investments revealing that $1 billion in total hasnow been invested in venture philanthropy projectsacross Europe4.4EVPA, The European Venture Philanthropy Industry 2010/2011, June 2012
  10. 10. “Philanthropic capital is preciousand should be used where investmentcannot or will not go: to seed, to proveideas and to create capacity”Stephen DawsonVenture philanthropist10Figure 1.1: The landscape from venturephilanthropy to mainstream investmentThe following chart, adapted from the European VenturePhilanthropy Association established in 2004, showshow traditional grantmaking sits alongside venturephilanthropy, social investment and impact investing.Source: adapted from the European Venture Philanthropy Association Primary driver is tocreate social valueBlended social and financial valuePrimary driver is tocreate financial valueSocial purpose organisationsCharities Revenue generating social enterprisesSociallydrivenbusinessTraditional businessGrantsonly, notradingactivityTradingrevenueandgrantsPotentiallysustainablewith 75%of incomefrom tradingrevenueBreakeven,all incomefrom tradingrevenueProfitable,surplusreinvestedProfitdistribution issocially drivenCSRcompanyCompanyallocating apercentageto charityMainstreammarketcompanyGrantmaking Social investment‘Impact’ investingVenture philanthropy
  11. 11. 11FEELINGADVENTUROUS?Social investment is the term most often used forinvesting for a social, as well as financial return. Itsemergence as part of the arsenal for tackling socialissues has created a new way to pool money andbuild leverage.Our own social investment arm, CAF Venturesome, isone of EVPA’s members. And, like others in this sector,CAF Venturesome has also experienced a growinginterest among its clients in these different approachesto using their philanthropic capital.CAF Venturesome enables our network of donors tolend money to charities and social enterprises throughsocial impact funds. That money is normally repaidafter a fixed period allowing the original investors torecommit or use the money directly for furtherinvestment or other kinds of philanthropic activity.“Some people are motivated by the concept of makingtheir giving go further,” explains Stephanie Poole,Director of Social Investment at CAF. “Your money canpotentially be used several times over and it is then stillavailable to donate at the end if you wish.”In this way, social investment can form part of aphilanthropic portfolio, providing capital to growingorganisations until the donor is ready to make a grant inthe more traditional way.Stephanie also finds that many of CAF Venturesome’ssupporters are also attracted by the opportunity to backunusual causes and to get away from the mainstreamof charitable giving.“If you make a social investment it is likely to reachorganisations not reached by traditional philanthropy –very grass roots and marginal organisations. So, you endup with a more interesting portfolio of enterprises,”she explains.
  12. 12. 12A further option for a socially conscious investor isimpact investing. The term impact investing, thoughstill used interchangeably with social investing, isincreasingly used to refer to investing in for-profitcompanies that can deliver social impact and near-market financial returns. If so, that profit can be returnedto the original investors.It is perhaps no surprise that people who are alreadyactive charitable donors find these benefits appealing.Blended value across the spectrum presents thetantalising possibility that financial investors could beattracted into the social space. If even a small fractionof mainstream investment were diverted into goodcauses, then the potential for philanthropic leveragebecomes almost exponential.“There is a whole spectrum of opportunityand the concept of a philanthropic portfoliois very powerful”Stephanie PooleDirector of Social InvestmentCharities Aid FoundationAs John Canady, Interim Director of Philanthropy atCAF, puts it, “the current economic situation really driveshome the point that we need to figure out alternativesin the way we do business and meet social needs. Wehave to incubate alternative models by creating newstructures that allow captialism to work more effectivelyfor those in need.” 
  13. 13. 13POSITIVERETURNSThere is of course an argument that it is irresponsiblefor investors to sacrifice financial return for social return.Instead, if investors focus on maximising financial returnsthey will ultimately have more profit available to putto social good through philanthropic activity. And, iffinancial returns are generated in ways that are sociallyresponsible, then you have the double benefit of goodreturns and good social outcomes.Someone with experience on both sides of this divideis Ben Goldsmith, partner of Wheb Group. Whebspecialises in sustainable investments. Like anyinvestment company, Wheb’s goal is to maximise theprofits it makes for its investors by selecting companiesfor investment with world-beating ideas, technologyand innovation.While making money is Ben’s day job, he also chairs thetrustee board for his family’s foundation, which happensto be a leading European environmental grantmakerfunding a range of campaigning and advocacyprogrammes.Ben sees the philanthropy versus investmentargument from both sides. “At Wheb, we don’t offerproducts that have lower financial returns just becausewe are doing good. We don’t invest in social enterprises,because, when you talk about mission, it can be amassive turn off for investors. They want yield fromtheir assets,” he explains.“That said, I am passionate about the environment andI was never going to go into a traditional, old-schoolbusiness because I want to go to bed at night knowingthat I am achieving something positive,” he adds.His conclusion is that philanthropic capital andinvestment capital have different functions andboth can be used to tackle different parts of theenvironmental challenge.
  14. 14. “I am a big believer in philanthropy. Philanthropic capitalis very potent and can make a massive difference if youthink hard and strategically about how you giveit out. But, we also need a revolution in the way weinvest. For example, our global energy infrastructurerequires trillions of dollars of investment and that willneed the mobilisation of huge amounts of privatecapital,” he explains.“But we will only be able to do this at scale if there is aprofit motive and that means we have to build credibilityin a new asset class.”It is Ben’s conviction that profit motives and socialmotives will converge only when investors can see ameasurable economic advantage. Evidence on this pointis growing. Large corporates can see a positive impacton their bottom line from energy saving; corporate andsocial responsibility has a measurable effect on shareprices; and there is a business advantage to being seenas a good employer.14“People want to work for anorganisation that is not doinganything bad and preferablythey want to work for one thatis doing good”Ben GoldsmithWheb Group
  15. 15. 15YOUNGENTREPRENEURSThere are evidently good arguments on both sides ofthe spectrum of blended value. However, the fact thatsocial investment is generating such focused debatemay well create enough momentum to drive change.Indeed, there is a parallel change in play that couldtip the balance in the future. If we look at the viewsof young people on these issues, we find they are farmore comfortable with intersection of financial andsocial value.In our last paper The Future Stars of Philanthropy5,we looked at the attitudes of the next generation tocharitable giving. What we found is that they are morefocused on tackling big themes, making an impact andbecoming more hands on with their giving than thoseover 45.Interestingly, we find this same generation are alsothinking seriously about how they are going to buildtheir careers and where their responsibilities lie inthis process.In fact, we find the young generation are more engagedwith issues of social responsibility when it comes to theircareer choices than those over 45. When asked howimportant are issues of environmental responsibility,engagement in civil society, ethical investment andeven charitable giving in their wealth creation plans,the under 30s consistently indicate that these issues aremore important to them than the older generation(see Figure 1.2).You could argue that it is the prerogative of youthto be idealistic about how money is made and, ofcourse, you would be right. But, we are talking aboutsocial motivation in a socially networked generation,which means it doesn’t take long to turn thoughts intopositive action.And, while this generation is still under 30 years old, itsentrepreneurs are already emerging as the businessleaders and investors of tomorrow.If we look first in the social enterprise space we findyoung entrepreneurs like Hermione Taylor, founder ofThe DoNation6. Working in the environmental industry,she realised that much of the fundraising in the sectorwas going towards expensive behaviour changecampaigns targeted at the very people from whomlarge organisations were raising funds.Why not, she thought, ask people to contribute to acampaign by changing their behaviour instead?
  16. 16. 16Hermione believes The DoNation approach is part of awider rethink taking place about how people can maketheir actions count. She believes this is particularlynoticeable among the younger generation.“Since the financial crisis things haven’t looked sohopeful for young people and there is a shift in attitudesgoing on. Young people are thinking there must be adifferent way to do things, because the need for changeis so massive.”From this idea, The DoNation was born. It is an onlinesponsorship site aimed at changing whole patternsof behaviour. In its initial phase, the focus is onencouraging people to take positive steps onenvironmental themes.When a colleague asks for sponsorship, instead of givingmoney you can pledge to cycle to work, power downyour computer at night, or turn the temperature downon the washing machine.“It seems crazy to ask people to make charitabledonations when they are the ones who can solve theproblem,” she observes.Hermione is now looking at how similarprogrammes could be rolled out in the corporateworld to help companies encourage their staff tolive more sustainably.“Young people are thinkingthere must be a different wayto do things, because the needfor change is so massive”Hermione TaylorThe DoNation
  17. 17. 17The evidenceYoung people put more emphasis on a wide range of responsibility issues when they consider how they are going tomake money and build their careers.Figure 1.2: Considering your wealth creation, how important are the following areas toyou? (Based on a scale of importance of 1-10)Source: Scorpio Partnership, 2012 research based on 566 responses to a global online survey304574%68%73%67%71%67% 65%58%%importance20%40%60%80%100%Charitable activityInvesting ethicallyEngaging incivil societyEnvironmentalresponsibility
  18. 18. 18Just as Hermione’s business is focused on doing, ratherthan giving per se, Figure 1.2 also points toward thecharacteristic behaviour of the younger generation todemonstrate their social values through day-to-dayactions. This trend is very much in tune with the venturephilanthropy approach. It is also at the core of anotheryoung enterprise called The Collective.The Collective is a capacity building enterprise aimedat putting young professionals in touch with grass rootsorganisations in Sierra Leone that would benefit fromtheir time and skills.It was set up by Charlie Habershon and Alex Farrington,both in their 20s, who wanted to offer a differentapproach to development. The gap they saw was fora way to connect young professionals for short termassignments with support, coaching and training alongthe way to help them develop themselves in the process.“We want to link our volunteers with grass rootsorganisations in order to develop capacity and tomake what they do more sustainable and effective,”explains Alex.“The reason we call ourselves The Collective is becausewe don’t want to be an organisation; we want this to bea movement that is created to make positive change.There are people everywhere who want to have apositive impact; they just need the inspiration to say,‘I’ll do it’,” he adds.The Collective is also looking to encourage corporates tojoin their movement, by giving staff time off to volunteerand by providing opportunities for them to sponsorparticular enterprises in Sierra Leone.Alex, Charlie and Hermione are all good examples ofyoung social entrepreneurs who see a natural bridgebetween their social mission and the traditionalbusiness world.Interestingly, though, there are mainstream youngentrepreneurs who are also crossing this divide because,they say, it is in tune with what their customers want.Rob Symington and Dom Jackson from Escape the Cityare a good case in point. Since 2009, they have beenencouraging smart young professionals who want to dosomething different with their lives to break free fromthe corporate world.Rob and Dom set up the business because they werefeeling dissatisfied with their City jobs and they had ahunch that others might feel the same way.To date, 85,600 individuals have joined their socialnetworking site to share ideas about potentialentrepreneurial ventures or to connect with interestingorganisations that could offer them a job with moremeaning, more excitement or more adventure.“We are finding that people are often not satisfiedwith their jobs and the solution is often a social mission.Around half of the listings on the site have some form ofpositive social impact. They are either charities, or socialenterprises or businesses with exciting social goals,”says Rob.“My generation are buildingbusinesses to solve problems –not to fill a gap in the market”Rob SymingtonEscape the City
  19. 19. 19The evidenceWhen asked about the way that businesses conduct themselves, the younger generation are more likely to say thatcampaigning for important social issues is as important or more important than profitability. Interestingly, this is theone area where their attitudes on corporate values are distinctly different from those over 45.Figure 1.3: If you were a shareholder of a company (and thus benefiting from itsprofitability), how important should the following issues be to guiding the company’soperations? (% stating equal or more important than profitability)Source: Scorpio Partnership, 2010 research based on 2,457 responses to a global online survey3045CustomerhappinessEmployeehappinessObeyingindustrylawsandregulationsBeingopenandhonestinbusinessProvidinginnovativeproducts/servicesDealingfairlywithbusinesspartnersEnvironmentalresponsibilitySupportingthelocalcommunityCampaigningforimportantsocialissuesOfferingsupporttootherbusinesses51%95% 94%91% 91% 90%86%92%82%86%85% 84%82%73%71%57%42%26%23%22%20%40%60%80%100%
  20. 20. 20Rob’s view is that because the attitudes of the upcominggeneration are changing, business also needs to change.“Big organisations are the status quo. They haveincredible CSR programmes, but ultimately the goal isto make money and the social aspect sometimes seemslike a varnish rather than something that is baked intothe business,” he observes.Interestingly, he also observes that in the digital age,individuals and businesses need to be conscious aboutprojecting a positive social identity to the world atlarge. This, he believes, will likely drive an even greaterfusion between corporate and social values. “In thefuture, more businesses will be built around identity andthey will stand for more than a value statement. Mygeneration are building businesses to solve problems –not to fill a gap in the market,” he explains.To emphasise the point he explains how Escape the Cityraised investment capital through crowd funding, ratherthan turning to traditional venture capital.“We had a good offer of traditional venture capital,but when we looked at the reasons we started theorganisation, they were all to do with freedom andindependence. If we signed up with a venture capitalfirm, we would be back in the arena we were trying toavoid in the first place,” he explains.Their investment story also highlights how the internetmay be a force that changes investor attitudes byempowering the individual to make decisions on theirown terms. In Rob’s view, their crowd funders werenot motivated principally by profit, but because theybelieved in what Escape the City stood for.This view is supported by research that suggests youngerpeople have a much higher expectation that businesseswill take a stand on social issues. In fact, when askedwhat would be more important to them than profitabilityif they were the shareholder of a company, 42% of under30’s say campaigning on social issues. This compares tojust 26% of those over 45 (see Figure 1.3).“It is not so much that youngpeople want to save the world,it is just that they wanttheir work to matter”Rob SymingtonEscape the City
  21. 21. 21The evidenceA much higher proportion of young investors say social responsibility issues influence their investment decisions thanolder investors. And that figure rises for younger investors when we project five years into the future.Figure 1.4: Considering your wealth creation, to what degree do social responsibility issuesinfluence your investment decisions? (% stating somewhat important – very important)Source: Scorpio Partnership, 2012 research based on 176 responses to a global online survey 20%40%60%80%100%3071%80%63% 65%%importanceInfluence nowInfluence in 5 years=45Taking this one step further, when asked to what extentsocial responsibility influences their investment decisions,71% of under 30s say it is important or very important.This compares with 63% of over 45s. The figures aremore dramatic still when they are asked to projectfive years forward. Over this timeframe, 80% of under30s say social responsibility will be important in theirinvestment decisions, compared with 65% of over 45s.The experience of Rob and Dom suggests thatGeneration Y is more at ease with the concept ofblending social and financial return. More than that,they want to buy into firms they can believe in –as consumers, as employees and even as investors.In turn, this means firms need to be much more awareof how to project values that are genuinely in tunewith these attitudes.
  22. 22. 22MISSIONCRITICALThroughout this paper we have looked at theapproaches that forward-thinking individuals areforging to make a positive change. All of theseexamples raise questions about what will be thecatalysts for social change in our increasingly complexand globalised world.What is clear is that social problems are no longerthe territory solely of traditional and more strategicphilanthropists, working alongside governmentand NGOs. Pioneers from the business world, andyoung social and mainstream entrepreneursare all approaching social challenges fromdifferent perspectives.Their work and their businesses suggest that thepower to create sustainable change may come fromchallenging the traditional divide between the for-profitand not-for-profit worlds: between capital value andsocial value.Because, by testing these boundaries, we may find thatthere are opportunities to mobilise huge volumes ofcapital to tackle society’s fundamental problems.Having a sustainable impact in the world is no longerabout doing things in isolation. It is about cultivatinga movement.Today, the opportunities and innovation are most clearlyvisible in the pioneering realm of venture philanthropy,social investment and impact investment. But, the riseof the younger generations and the fast-paced natureof the internet are equally potent forces that look set tochallenge both personal and corporate values.Pioneers from the business world, and young socialand mainstream entrepreneurs are all approachingsocial challenges from different perspectives.
  23. 23. beacatalystforchangeIf you’d like to kick-start your own philanthropic adventure,then we can help you. We work with a wide range of donorsto create giving with impact.Call one of our team to talk throughyour aspirations for changing the world.03000 123 028The next piece in our series will be capturing the innovationswe are seeing as individuals strive to get the most impact fromtheir giving.If you’d like more information on the research, emailphilanthropy@cafonline.orgOr visit our website and explore themany different ways to
  24. 24. Registered charity number 268369Charities Aid FoundationSt Andrew’s House18-20 St Andrew StreetLondon EC4A 3AYT: +44 (0)3000 123 028W: www.cafonline.orgWe are a charity striving to make giving moreeffective and charities more successful.Across the world, our unique experience andexpertise makes giving more beneficial for everyone.1159G/0213