The Patterson Foundation Explores Methods of Initiative Thrivability

Posted on November 17, 2011 by Michael Corley

By Michael Corley, The Patterson Foundation

The Patterson Foundation values assisting initiative partners as they plan for success beyond our initial investment. Ensuring that our partners will thrive beyond a partnership with TPF enables their good work to continue well into the future.

We have identified and are exploring three major mechanisms to provide for the financial thrivability of our initiatives:

Philanthropy – Current and Endowed: An example of this is establishing an endowment fund for an initiative that will be used over the course of its lifetime.

Recently, The Patterson Foundation initiated a $2-million matching challenge for donations to create a $4-million dollar endowment for Bringing Science Home, an initiative in partnership with USF Health. This will help ensure that Bringing Science Home will continue to help those with chronic diseases for years to come.

Social Entrepreneurship/Venture Philanthropy: Venture Philanthropy means taking a venture capitalist approach to philanthropy. It may involve helping nonprofits set up efficient, self-sustaining infrastructures and increase capacity to deliver services long after an initial investment. Along with venture philanthropy, this is supporting those who use entrepreneurial principles to achieve social good.

Business Practices: This is about aiding nonprofits in bringing in the best business practices - including alliance, partnerships, mergers and back-office collaborations-  so that it can develop and continue social good over a longer period of time.

By taking this approach The Patterson Foundation believes that its initiatives can financially self-thrive and create a long lasting positive impact with those we partner with.

Have you had success with venture philanthropy or social entrepreneurial practices? Please share your experiences with us.


  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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