Our Approach

OUR APPROACH

Venture Philanthropy

The David Weekley Family Foundation practices a venture philanthropy model of giving. This means we prefer to partner with early-stage organizations that demonstrate high potential and stand to benefit from our financial, intellectual, and human capital. We typically start to partner with organizations whose operating budgets are between $500,000 and $5,000,000, providing general operating support and occasionally low-interest loans. We prefer to make transformational gifts, which we define as injections of financial and human capital that will help an organization build its capacity to scale, reach self- sufficiency, or test innovative ideas. Venture philanthropy also means that we focus on measurable results and expect regular, transparent investor updates.

Focus

High Leverage, Scalable, & Sustainable

We are a Christian faith-based foundation that impacts the world through both Christ-centered and secular organizations. In our philanthropy, we look for three fundamental principles in an organization: High Leverage; they accomplish a lot with a little. Scalable; they have the propensity to grow to impact millions of people. Sustainable; over time their model utilizes some type of self-generating revenue.

Health, Education, & Livelihoods

Our focus is on enabling the materially poor to lift themselves out of poverty. We concentrate on increasing income and improving job opportunities in the Majority World. With greater income, people are better able to support their families by providing food, accessing healthcare, and pursuing education. By helping organizations fulfill these basic needs with market-based solutions, we strengthen societies and develop economies.

About half of our grantees also integrate their Christian faith into this work. While physical needs are obvious to all, we believe that people also have spiritual needs that can best be addressed by faith in God.

Style

We ask hard questions. Our questions help us to understand, challenge, and provide accountability for our partners. We trust but also verify and encourage others to do the same.

Our Strongest Partners Display the Following Traits

A unique and well-defined mission;
• Excellent programs or services that clearly advance the mission;
• A clear path to measure results;
• A three to five-year strategic plan;
• A business model and cost structure demonstrating that the organization will make a greater impact in a more efficient way as it grows;
• Strong executive talent with a coachable spirit;
• A strong and effective Board of Directors, or a desire to establish one, and;
• A spiritual integration plan or willingness to create one (for our Christian partners).

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