First and foremost, our model of venture philanthropy generates investment for social good by betting on the potential of people. As practitioners of venture philanthropy, we work to catalyze economic growth in St. Louis by giving grants to early-stage companies and entrepreneurs.

Venture philanthropy provides a distinct advantage over other economic development models. It allows people or organizations with capital to create change outside of government or public funding sources, which, though effective in the long term, struggle when it comes to short-term economic growth.

Venture philanthropy may be an investment in people, but it’s also a commitment to a place.

Because venture philanthropy doesn’t offer returns in a traditional sense, organizations that use this model must find partners who share their vision for social good.

The final component of our venture philanthropy model is advisory — but not financial — partnership. That is, we don’t take equity in or loan money to any of the companies we invest in. When we don’t have a financial stake in the game, we’re able to create a different relationship with our entrepreneurs, one based on mentorship instead of the potential for profit. Because we’re singularly focused on the best interest of the entrepreneur, we can quickly build trust.

Read the full article on venture philanthropy by Emily Lohse-Busch at VentureBeat.