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Brussels, 16 December, 2014 – The European Venture Philanthropy (VP) and Social Investment (SI) sector is reporting significant momentum over the past year, seeing a strengthening of all dimensions of the VP/SI method. The sector, dedicated to financing social purpose organisations, saw an 28% increase in average spend per VP/SI organisation, from €6.3 million over 2012 to €8.0 million over 2013.

With €5 billion invested in social organisations and projects since the approach started gaining ground ten years ago, the survey reports an increase in available resources for social purpose organisations and echoes a rising interest in social impact investing by governments and other players.

These and more results were released today as part of the 2013/2014 EVPA annual survey of the European Venture Philanthropy and Social Investment sector, which surveys VP/SI organisations across Europe.

Venture Philanthropy and Social Investment organisations provide both financial and non-financial support to social purpose organisations in order to help them increase their social, environmental and cultural impact. Non-financial support- which increased slightly this year in terms of total spend on aggregate - consisted of activities such as strategy consulting, coaching, mentoring, offering access to networks, financial management support, and assistance in fundraising/financial strategy or governance.

The VP/SI method is being practised across Europe by foundations, funds, banks and some corporate players. European SI/VP organisations invest across a spectrum of organisational types, but non-profits without trading revenues and social enterprise are the main target of VP/SI investment, receiving 35% and 32% of total funding respectively.
For those respondents who have undertaken exits in 2013, two-thirds either received positive returns or saw their capital repaid.

Alongside these developments, the sector is becoming increasingly sophisticated in its workings, evidenced by an increase in organisational capacity and the usage of impact measurement by 96% organisations.
Kurt Peleman, CEO EVPA said: "In a context where the VP/SI method is gaining ground, the survey is an important point of reference to establish the growth and effectiveness of the method.It is promising therefore to see that there is a significant growth in financial resources to tackle European societal challenges, but also that despite more emphasis on recycling capital, societal return remains the primary objective for organisations. That coupled with the fact that organisations are increasing organisational capacity and are becoming more sophisticated in terms of impact measurement, makes us confident that we are looking at increased momentum for the sector for the years ahead."

Other findings the survey reported include:

• More than half of the total funding (56%) is invested in the home country of the VP/SI organisation, while the amount invested internationally is directed to African countries (11%), and other European countries (9%). Compared to previous years, cross-border funding is becoming increasingly important.

• VP/SI organisations support a wide range of sectors and beneficiaries. In the fiscal year 2013 economic and social development attracted most funding at 22%, ahead of education (14%), research (13%) health (13%) and culture and recreation (9%). Children and youth are the main beneficiaries of VP/SI investments.

• More VP/SI organisations are using financing instruments other than grants with an increase in the use of guarantees and hybrid grants. Grants remain the primary financing instrument in terms of € spend.

EVPA acts as the main repository of data on venture philanthropy and social investment in Europe. The 2013/2014 survey includes data from 95 venture philanthropy and social investment organisations (VPOs) based in Europe, investing both in Europe and globally. The report compares data collected from four consecutive years of surveying the sector.

i. The survey was conducted among 95 organisations committed to the VP/SI across Europe, either seeking a social return only, or accepting or seeking both a social and financial return equally important.
ii. Traditionally VP/SI organisations have hired consulting services and pro-bono support from various types of organisations in their networks as well having a pool of volunteers. This year’s results show that organisation are retaining paid employees and engaging more pro-bono supporters (an average of 20 pro bono supporters per VPO vs 12 a year ago). Reliance on unpaid volunteer has gone down slightly.

Media Contact:
Linde Wolters
Tel: +32 (0) 2 513 21 31

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About the EVPA Survey of European Venture Philanthropy (VP) and Social Investment (SI)

EVPA acts as the main repository of data on VP/SI in Europe. This is the fourth report on European Venture Philanthropy and Social Investment published by the European Venture Philanthropy Association. The purpose of the report is to provide key statistics and raise awareness about a sector that is evolving rapidly so as to attract further resources to the sector. The report is based on a survey conducted by EVPA’s Knowledge Centre that captured key statistics on 95 European venture philanthropy and social investment organisations (VPOs). This is the fourth survey that EVPA has conducted. EVPA members, as well as some non-EVPA members fulfilling the criteria of being based in Europe and conducting VP/SI activities have contributed to the survey.

About The European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA)

Established in 2004, EVPA aims to be the home as well as the highest-value catalytic network of European Social Investors committed to using venture philanthropy and social investment tools and targeting societal impact. Currently the association has over 190 members from 25 countries, mainly based in Europe.
EVPA’s membership includes venture philanthropy funds, social investors, grant-making foundations, impact investing funds, private equity firms and professional service firms, philanthropy advisors, banks and business schools. EVPA members work together across sectors in order to promote and shape the future of venture philanthropy and social investment in Europe and beyond.

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