Investing in endowed philanthropy to thrive for impact

Posted on October 03, 2011 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation

By Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation

Sustainability calls for things to remain where they are – in other words, stay the course. But as a foundation committed to championing innovation for increased impact, we prefer the term thrivability. In fact, financial thrivability is part of our DNA.

We expect our partners to seek out, test and discover ways to continue their collaborative work beyond The Patterson Foundation’s initial investment. One way we’re encouraging the thrivability of our partners’ meaningful work is through philanthropy – both current and endowed.

On Friday, we announced a $2 million dollar-for-dollar matching challenge to raise a potential $4 million endowment for our partner Bringing Science Home (USF Health in Tampa). The team, led by the energetic former Miss America Nicole Johnson – who is a global diabetes advocate and champion – works to help people live better with chronic health conditions and develop an new model for chronic disease education.

We issued a match for an endowment that will assure the important work and new realities being created to help people live better with chronic health conditions can continue for years to come.

As we seek to learn and share with other foundations – we want to know, what are other funders doing to plan for the thrivability of their partnerships, programs and other efforts?

So far, we’ve identified several mechanisms to approach and explore this concept:

1.    Philanthropy – current and endowed

2.    Venture capital

3.    Social entrepreneurship/business practices

Issuing one-to-one matching challenges (where matching funds seed an endowment) have been very successful for us. We’ve issued similar challenges for our collaborative work with the Arthritis Foundation Florida Chapter and our region’s Season of Sharing campaign, a movement to help people on the verge of homelessness in our community.

What methods for thrivability have worked for your entity? How are you building financial thrivability within the DNA of our mission and work?

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


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