Pre-engagement is the first step on the journey of venture philanthropy. It includes three activities: sourcing, screening (including due diligence) and structuring social investment deals. In the sourcing phase, social investors build the pipeline by raising awareness of their mission and investment criteria. Screening candidate organisations, also known as due diligence, can be a lengthy and expensive process. Finally, the process of structuring the engagement for the mutual benefit of VPO and SPO includes negotiations around investment terms, capacity building and impact assessment.
In 2015, we published three case studies in this area. However, we had difficulty finding organisations willing to share their pre-engagement practices and based on our conversations with reluctant investors concluded that, as social investors seem to have difficulties finding investment- and impact-ready organisations, they are reluctant to share what works for them. We may revisit this area in future and invite you to contact us with feedback or if you would like to participate via firstname.lastname@example.org.