Leveraging the full spectrum of philanthropic capital towards impact: Case studies from Asia Pacific and the US

About the Report:

As more and more organisations deploy financial and non-financial resources into the social investment ecosystem, foundations are well-positioned to take the lead as market catalysts and ecosystem builders. This report documents the extraordinary journeys taken by 8 leading foundations in Asia Pacific and the US to scale their impact by leveraging the full spectrum of their philanthropic capital. These foundations are selected to reflect a variety of geographical locations, legal registrations as well as activities.

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Key Highlights:

  1. Foundations are uniquely positioned to provide patient, catalytic capital in the form of grants, debt, equity and loan guarantees as well as non-financial support.
  2. The 8 foundations covered in this study have moved beyond traditional grant-making to support and scale social innovations with a full spectrum of direct investments and non-financial support.
  3. Their philosophies towards unlocking the full spectrum of philanthropic capital are rooted in their local contexts.
  4. Their activities can be broadly classified into: market catalyst and ecosystem building.

Recommendations:

  1. Innovative solutions to social challenges are emerging in every sector and philanthropy must be open to new ideas, approaches and tools to effectively catalyse impact.
  2. Raise public awareness, carve out a clear positioning and enhance transparency to change public perception around foundations making investments.
  3. Continuous learning is important as foundations embark on a journey towards aligning 100% of their portfolio to their mission.
  4. Get buy-in from internal stakeholders by asking “Why are we doing this?” and “What do we want to achieve?”
  5. Acting as a bridge between the global and local market might be useful in educating stakeholders about mission-aligned investing.
  6. Find the right talent and engage the right advisors, especially those with an investment background, while aligning them towards the foundation’s social mission.
  7. Aligning foundations’ investments with grant-making might be necessary to avoid mission drift.