How to engage in impact investing?

ERNOP Science and Society Seminar: How to engage in impact investing?

By Professor Georg von Schnurbein from the Center for Philanthropy Studies at the University of Basel

Discussant: Alessia Gianoncelli, European Venture Philanthropy Association

November 23, 2021, 10.00-11.00 AM (CET)

This seminar on impact investing deals with the question, how foundations can use their capital in favor of their charitable purpose, instead of only using the returns of the capital. The presentation is based on two recent studies of CEPS on asset management and impact investing by foundations. Based on the research done by the Center for Philanthropy Studies, we offer a hands-on guide to impact investing and highlight the different aspects a foundation board has to test before starting impact investing. The webinar will be most interesting for foundation board members, foundation directors and representatives of financial institutions working with foundations.

About the Center for Philanthropy Studies at the University of Basel

The Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) of the University of Basel is an interdisciplinary research and executive education institute, specialized on the non-profit sector and dealing with the multifaceted topic of philanthropy. The institute was established in 2008 through an initiative by SwissFoundations, the Association of Swiss Grantmaking Foundations.

The aim of the CEPS is to improve both the scientific foundation of and the knowledge about philanthropy. Furthermore, the CEPS provides a direct benefit for foundations and other non-profit organizations through executive education and coaching.

About Professor Georg von Schnurbein

Georg von Schnurbein is associate professor at the Faculty of Economics and founding director of the Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) at the University of Basel, Switzerland. The Center was initiated by SwissFoundations, the Association of Swiss Grandmaking Foundations. His research focuses on nonprofit governance, financial health of nonprofits, and impact assessment. He serves as member of the editorial board of Nonprofit Management & Leadership and regional associate editor of Voluntary Sector Review. Besides, he is member of the international research advisory council of the Satell Institute and board member of foundations in Germany and Switzerland.

Georg von Schnurbein holds a master degree in Business Administration of the University of Fribourg/CH. Besides, he has studied political science at the University of Berne. He is the author of various publications on subjects such as philanthropy, volunteering, and nonprofit management and governance. He is co-editor of the Swiss Foundation Code and the annual Swiss Foundation Report.

About Alessia Gianoncelli

Alessia is the Head of Knowledge, Community and Market Development at EVPA, where she is responsible for research activities, content development, data collection, community engagement and market development.

Since 2014, she co-authored publications, practical cases, and articles on venture philanthropy, impact measurement and management, impact strategies, the European impact ecosystem, tailored and hybrid finance. Thanks to her research, she prominently contributed to the EVPA narrative around investing for impact, and she is invited to speak at international conferences and gives guest lectures (e.g. INSEAD Business School in Paris and Solvay Brussels School Economics & Management).

She also started the EVPA initiative “Foundations Along the Spectrum of Capital” in collaboration with the European Foundation Centre, which she now co-leads. She cooperates with EVPA’s sister organisations in Latin America, Asia and Africa (IVPC, Latimpacto, AVPN and AVPA) to strengthen and increase the collaboration among actors acting in the global impact ecosystem, sharing learning, facilitating the exchange of experiences, contributing to scale successes across regions. 

About the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA)

Since our launch in 2004, we have been building a community of organisations interested in or practising venture philanthropy (VP) and social investment (SI) across Europe.

EVPA defines venture philanthropy as an approach to building stronger investee organisations with a societal purpose, by providing them with both financial and non-financial support.

Venture philanthropy’s ultimate objective is to achieve societal impact. VP does this through both social investment and high-engagement grantmaking.