“The European Venture Philanthropy Organisation (EVPA) has become the important catalyst in matching billions of impact funds with innovation, creativity and sustainability.” This definition, given by EVPA Board Chair Filipe Santos, defines in the best possible way the path towards investing for impact that started back in 2004.
Major highlight of the EVPA 15th Annual Conference that took place in The Hague on 6-7 November was the launch of the anniversary report “15 Years of Impact – Taking Stock and Looking Ahead” with Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands receiving the first copy. With this report, EVPA identifies different impact strategies and introduces the Charter of Investors for Impact, a living document consisting of ten driving principles distinguishing the DNA of investors for impact vis-á-vis other investors. More than 750 participants from Europe and the world were invited to adhere to the principles and sign the Charter. You may find it here.
Her Majesty spoke with the founders of EVPA about their initiative to start the association to foster and strengthen philanthropy. She also spoke with organisations and institutions that together make up the landscape for capital providers. Her visit to the conference was concluded by joining the creative lab on how to attract more investors for the Clean Cooking solutions.
The report maps and presents the strengths and challenges of the capital providers in the social impact ecosystem: social impact funds and foundations, social investment crowdfunding platforms, corporate social investors, banks and the public sector. After investigating these actors, the researchers identified 10 important principles that can help the sector to move forward in the coming years. These collectively form the Charter and show the DNA of this growing sector; Investors for Impact Take risks that most others are not prepared to take, put the final beneficiary at the center of the solution and always apply the highest ethical standards.
‘We are a broad church. The landscape for venture philanthropy and social investment is changed dramatically over the past 15 years. We are happy that so many of the members of the start of our association are still with us here. I hope that we all make new connections to tackle the complicating issues the world faces today’, says Steven Serneels, EVPA CEO.
The 750 participants exchanged ideas, experience and knowledge in 100 workshops, labs and thematic sessions, following a unique format that allowed them to practically shape the conference according to their priorities and needs. Main topic during the conference was how pressing social issues can be addressed through venture philanthropy and social investing and how collaboration with others is key in making progress.
The EVPA Annual Conference was organised with the support of the ImpactCity, DOEN Participaties, Ikea Foundation, Fonds1818, EIB Institute, Banque de Territoires – Caisse des Dépôts, King Baudouin Foundation, Impact Capital, blueplanet Investments, Vodafone Institute for Communications and Society, Rabo Foundation, Vision DMD. The report “15 Years of Impact – Taking Stock and Looking Ahead” would not have been possible without the support of DOEN Participaties, Banque de Territoires – Caisse des Dépôts, King Baudouin Foundation and CRT Foundation.