Tomorrow I am teaching a class on how social entrepreneurs address really big problems. We’ll be over simplifying for the purposes of our 1hr 15 min class, but basically discussing two methods of impact…
The Peery Foundation primarily invests in early to mid-stage social entrepreneurs who are effectively addressing the issues of poverty. We’ve spent a lot of time analyzing patterns in our giving over the years, and have emerged with four portfolios of grantees: Local, Regional, Global, and Ecosystems. We have a variety of different criteria we use to choose our partners. However, each portfolio has its respective goals and differences. They all share an overarching set of values and themes around the people, the idea, and the impact.
The People: first and foremost we invest in people. This includes the entrepreneur, their team, board and others who are behind them to succeed. The trustworthiness, experience, commitment level, and entrepreneurial ability of the people involved are probably the most important factors we look to evaluate.
The Idea: we’re concerned with the relative importance of an idea, whether it matters, and if the organization can pull it off. How does the idea compare to other interventions in terms of its cost, scaleability, and impact? We’d like to know how the idea leads advances a larger vision.
The Impact: we’d like to know what success looks like, and how the organization knows it’s being achieved. What are the implications of achieving success? Does it mean that dozens, thousands, or millions of lives will experience lasting changes for the better? As a funder willing to take risks, we also have an appreciation for things that cannot yet be measured, but hold the promise of great impact.