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…
We believe in due-diligence that fits the partnership in question. The Foundation has a history of operating on trust, and believes that sometimes a handshake can be enough. When funding partnerships are being analyzed which involve larger investments with multi-year commitments, there is certainly cause for a more rigorous analysis of the partnership.
When an organization lands on our radar, an initial screen is conducted to determine its coherence with our mission and existing portfolio. If it looks like a potential fit, a deeper analysis of the people, the idea, and impact is carried out. We aim to minimize the organization’s time spent by avoiding proposals, collecting documents they should already have, i.e., business plan, financials, recent proposal, and talking with experts in their field. Our goal is to understand the model to an appropriate depth, and to do so quickly and painlessly.
What is the purpose of due-diligence? Aside from justifying funding decisions, it should lead toward a deeper understanding of the model, but more importantly an understanding of the entrepreneur behind it. No amount of paper can substitute for the confidence and trust needed to make an investment.