Interview with Jenny North, Impetus Trust

Published on Monday, 28 January 2013 16:13
Written by Jenny North

Today we interviewed venture philanthropists, the Impetus Trust. Take a look at the work they do on their website:

GT: How is philanthropy addressing current economic issues?

IT: Increasing number of 'funders plus' - philanthropists keen to move faster to solutions & give more than £.

GT: In terms of more than pounds, what work is being done?

IT: In our venture philanthropy model, we also provide hands on mgmt support to help a charity scale up/deepen impact, as well as a LOT of pro bono support from corporate partners.

GT: Has the Big Society helped in any way to raise interest and support for charities?

IT: In terms of public donations, no. People who care about public services are more aware of what charities can offer but real test of change will be whether Labour feel the need to have their own version of Big Society in their manifesto.

GT: We doubt they will. Tell us about IntoUniversity.

IT: So glad you asked! IU are our first £1m investment, we're backing them to go national. More here.

GT: Do you think charities are negatively perceived by the public, if so, why?

IT: Charities have very high levels of trust - but should go past 'do-good' image and tell stories about ambition and impact.

GT: How has philanthropy developed, is it just celebrities and stars or are you seeing working men and women?

IT: Most donors aren't people you'd have heard of! Celebs are great for profile but donors tend to be interested in impact.

GT: What impact have we seen so far, where have differences been made?

IT: Our portfolio charities have average annual growth of 19%, and average growth in people helped of 39% - above sector average. Our charities helped nearly 490K disadvantaged people last year, up from around 320K - and in innovative ways.

GT: Will social enterprises replace businesses in decades to come?

IT: Soc enterprises are businesses! Think we'll see a general collapse of barriers between 3 sectors - and maybe rise of new models.

GT: How has the economic downturn impacted on charities and is there more to be done by the government?

IT: Charity income is down, and needs are up - perfect storm. We think government should fund much more intelligently. Should fund through proven partners like us to build resilience & make public £ go further. More here.

GT: How are you working with government?

IT: Helping build capacity of charities to get them ready for #socialinvestment - could be game changer but many 'ifs'. Also providing 'bird's eye view' of sector - how ready is it for contracting, large scale delivery, SI etc?

GT: Thanks Impetus Trust!

IT: A pleasure! And take a look at our latest news - we're merging with @PEF_UK!

If you have any other questions, direct them to @ImpetusTrust. Follow us @Govtoday for more Twitter interviews soon. We are talking to Hugh Thornbery from @AdoptionUK on Jan 31st.


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