FINANCE NEWS: Impetus seeks venture philanthropy clients

Francois Le Goff

The Impetus Trust, the UK's first venture-philanthropy fund, is launching its website this week and is looking for 10 small charities to support.

The website will provide information to charities and donors about the trust and promote venture philanthropy.

"Venture philanthropy is still very new in the UK," said Judith Brodie, chief executive of the Impetus Trust. "This website will help us to communicate our approach to charities."

Venture philanthropy follows the model of venture capitalism by providing grant recipients with long-term investment and practical support. Donors put money into the trust which it then invests in projects. The trust, however, expects social rather than financial returns from investments and regularly meets with charities it supports.

The trust aims to turn charities' traditional relationship with their donors into a more mutual and sustainable one.

Impetus hopes to raise up to £10m of investment, to be spread among the 10 charities it chooses to assist.

The trust only supports charities with less than £10m of charitable income, and will not consider applications from those involved with animals, culture and heritage.

The trust has given itself three years to prove that its approach works in practice, after which larger funds will be raised.

Applicants can find more information at www.impetus.org.uk.

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