If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that nobody agrees on how to create economic growth. But at Arch Grants, we've chosen venture philanthropy, a people-based development model that combines the principles of venture capital with charitable giving in order to address big societal issues.

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. By contributing to businesses directly, we can bypass bureaucratic hurdles and make nimble investments that contribute to a climate of entrepreneurship.

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.  At Arch Grants, we work with individuals and family foundations — as well as larger companies and institutions — to secure localized funding and buy-in for our mission.

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.

Read the full article about venture philanthropy by Emily Lohse-Busch at Entrepreneur Quarterly.