“Much has been written about social entrepreneurship; ventures in which an explicit goal is the betterment of society. However, far less attention has been applied to entrepreneurial philanthropy, in which a startup mindset and accountability is applied to issuing non-profit grants.
Intrigued by the concept, I was turned onto one of the leaders in this emerging field of philanthropy, A Better Chicago (ABC), by friend and ABC Board Member, Brent Rasmussen.
ABC is applying entrepreneurial principles to the art of charity. Even the organization’s lexicon reinforces its startup mindset. It performs “due diligence” before it makes “investments” and it measures results as a “return on its investment.”
Like a venture capitalist, ABC’s involvement does not end when a grant check is cashed. Rather, the organization provides ongoing support of its “portfolio,” including strategic planning, recruitment of Board members and public relations expertise. ABC has even created an incubator-style program in which startup non-profits compete for $100,000 in seed funding.”