The European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) has recently published the 2013 EVPA survey report of European venture philanthropy and social investment. The report shows that the sector is increasingly more important in tackling societal challenges in a difficult economic environment.
EVPA acts as the main repository of data on venture philanthropy and social investment in Europe. The 2013 survey includes data from 75 venture philanthropy and social investment organizations (VPOs) based in Europe, investing both in Europe (50 per cent of funding) and beyond. The report compiles data from three consecutive years of surveying the sector, allowing important trends to be identified.
Despite a challenging economic climate, a number of key variables demonstrate that the sector has continued to grow:
• Increase in financial support The average financial support provided by VPOs to their investees increased by almost 20 per cent to €6.2 million from 2011 to 2012.
• Increased capacity building In a general economic context that saw businesses and organizations reduce their employee numbers, VPOs’ total number of employees increased from 753 to 1,054.
• The full venture philanthropy spectrum represented The VPOs surveyed are fairly evenly spread between those expecting a negative financial return (only grantmaking), those expecting a repayment of capital, and those expecting a positive financial return.
• Organizational capacity building of investees increasingly funded The percentage of funding for overhead costs is increasing, allowing more investees to increase their reach and impact, rather than funding only funding specific projects.