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The Future of Grantmaking?

November 12, 2010

We get a lot of interesting requests/inquiries/pitches over the digital transom here at PND. This one arrived a few days ago.

A foundation seeks to identify one or a few unorthodox philanthropic investments with the potential to generate extraordinary returns to society. The foundation is interested in concentrating its capital in opportunities that have little access to alternative sources of funding.

By posting a challenge on InnoCentive, the foundation hopes to unearth one or a few such extraordinary opportunities. A guaranteed award of $5,000 will be paid to the best submission. The bigger reward, however, would come from the actual implementation of an idea or ideas. The foundation is prepared to invest up to $100,000 initially, and a total of up to $1 million in the very best ideas.

Submissions will be accepted through the InnoCentive site from October 18 – November 18, 2010. More details about the challenge, including criteria and submission requirements, can be found here.

Strategic concentration of capital, use of a crowdsourcing platform, the possibility of additional funding linked to demonstrated impact -- is this the future of grantmaking?

-- Mitch Nauffts

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