By investing strategically — not just granting generously — we aim to help community-based organizations increase their impact on the lives of the children they serve.
Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) is a philanthropic investment organization that helps great leaders build strong, high-performing nonprofit institutions. It concentrates money, expertise, and personal contacts to improve the lives and boost the opportunities of children and youth of low-income families in the National Capital Region.
"In my mind, it's a true stamp of approval to get a VPP investment--due to the due diligence, due to your high standards, due to your strong interest in outcomes."
- Veronica Nolan, Urban Alliance
Whom We Support
We invest in high-potential nonprofit organizations that are serving the core developmental, learning, and educational needs of children from low-income families in the National Capital Region. We focus on philanthropic investment opportunities that have the greatest potential to improve the lives of children and that can help us demonstrate our strategic, engaged, and highly leveraged approach.
How We Work
Venture Philanthropy Partners is based, as its name suggests, upon a partnership approach. When we initiate an investment in a high-performing nonprofit organization, we call that organization an “investment partner” rather than a “grantee,” because we aspire to develop a close, long-term relationship. We are not naive enough to believe that the power differential between grantmaker and grantseeker magically disappears, but we do make every effort to build trust between the parties, share risks, and structure the relationship so that our success is directly predicated on our partners' success.
When we enter into an investment partnership, we aspire to serve as a trusted advisor, helping great leaders build stronger, more effective, more enduring organizations to better serve children. Our investments are not intended to fund program costs. Instead, the focus of every VPP investment is helping leaders build the strength of the organization behind their programs, often referred to as "organizational capacity." We support our portfolio organizations through large-scale, multi-year funding; through the expertise of our in-house investment team; and through the leverage of a wide network of outside contacts, resources, and professional advisors.
In June 2000, Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) was created. Our co-founders—Raul Fernandez, Mark Warner, and Mario Morino—recruited 26 other technology and business leaders and several foundations to join together and contribute more than $30 million to capitalize VPP’s first investment fund. The Morino Institute, led by Mario Morino, provided separate funding to create, incubate, and build the organization and its capacity. These 29 founding investors united behind a bold vision to alter the status quo for children in need of opportunity and, at the same time, create a different, innovative approach to philanthropy.