Key Points

· The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund (JCF) launched the Impact Grants Initiative (IGI), a model of grant making based on venture philanthropy, but offering high engagement opportunities for previously unaffiliated local donors and community leaders.

· Before adopting the IGI model, the JCF used a community-participatory grantmaking approach that had become stale in engaging its donors, community leaders, and professional staff. Younger existing and potential donors were developing interests in documented outcomes, metrics, and impact, and those interests did not align with JCF’s grantmaking approach.

· IGI builds on the concepts of venture philanthropy, combining theories and techniques used in venture capital and corporate business with philanthropic practice, provides a platform to highly engage donors, and results in strategic and tactical community investments. It focuses extensively on generating measurable results that are realistic and attainable and allows for the periodic reallocation of resources based on evolving priorities and goals.

· Participation in IGI grant rounds has more than doubled the number of community members engaged in philanthropy through the JCF.

Open Access