The Challenge

Social Enterprises often spend more time than necessary on non-strategic fundraising and repetitive reporting to various funders and investors. This keeps their focus away from their purpose: creating lasting system’s change through their groundbreaking ideas. On the other end, while funders individual strategies often differ, most players in Corporate Venture Philanthropy (CVP) have similar needs in terms of pipeline development, Impact Measurement and Management (IMM) and accounting. Furthermore, many engage in common thematic areas of interest (e.g. access to (women’s) health & medicine). This vast synergy potential is widely untapped, which calls for a collaborative approach towards synergetic, complementary CVP.

The Practice

Bayer Foundation proposes to create a community of practice (COP) – initially in the health sector – enabling donors and investees to build an ecosystem for knowledge and best practice sharing, strategic alignment and pooling of co-funding opportunities as well as streamlining of reporting standards . Once the COP is up and running with core partners, the idea is to open it to further players, stakeholders, and eventually additional sectors and focus areas (e.g. sustainable agriculture, livestock management and (mal-)nutrition).

We envision starting the COP with a series of workshops involving existing and interested partners to help identify  pipeline overlap, map potential for synergies, tp align on common needs with other stakeholders, to create a complementary CVP support and co-investment strategy as well as to establish a joint monitoring & evaluation approach for continuous learning and eventually, to develop a playbook for the expansion of the COP to additional CVPs and encourage participation of additional funders.

Results /Insights / Advice to Peers

The practice is at an ideation stage, so no results can be reported as yet. The result is to enhance complimentary Corporate Venture Philanthropy efforts, to discover and utilize untapped synergy potentials and generate a win-win situation with more positive societal impact for the stakeholder focus groups. Possible key challenges and risks to be mitigated include:

  • Silo-thinking in the participating organizations,
  • Low interest and/or response from pipeline candidates,
  • Poor engagement by stakeholders,
  • Less strategic alignment than imagined in the overall approach.

Further Resources


Stefan Wilhelm

Bayer Foundation & Bayer AG: Public Affairs, Science and Sustainability

Program Manager Social Impact