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  1. Wealth
January 25, 2013

Impetus and Private Equity Foundation to merge to create venture philanthropy powerhouse

By Spear's

The combined organisation will fund charities which benefit more than half a million people and have an income of £8-9 million

In a move which will create a powerhouse of venture philanthropy, Impetus Trust and the Private Equity Foundation have announced that they are merging. The combined organisation, to be called Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation, will fund charities which currently benefit more than half a million people. The two organisations now have an annual income of £8-9 million, which they expect to increase significantly after their merger.

Daniela Barone Soares, the current CEO of Impetus who will become CEO of the joint company, told Spear’s that to help people mired in poverty in the UK, both companies needed size: ‘With the scale of ambition we have, we realised we could not do it alone. We found out that the Private Equity Foundation had a very similar vision. Combining forces mean we can do it better and faster.’

Both Impetus and the Private Equity Foundation are pioneers in venture philanthropy, which involves applying the methods of private equity – financial support, business plans, revenue targets – to make charities more businesslike, while providing them with pro bono professional services. Nothing in the method would change after the merger, Barone Soares says.

Read more about venture philanthropy

‘The two organisations will help well over half a million people,’ she says, ‘but there are 13 million people trapped in the UK. 1.6 million children don’t have three meals a day.’

According to their 2012 results, Impetus’ portfolio charities – which include Street League, which uses football to get people into education or training, and the Prison Radio Association, which aims to reduce reoffending – on average helped 39 per cent more people and increased their income by 19 per cent.

As a result of the merger, donors would see ‘a greater bang for their buck, with efficiencies, and a greater voice in government’. There will be 40 staff in total.

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Read more: Impetus to approve grants to social enterprises

The charities Impetus supports are playing a large role in the government’s plans to change how service are provided; for example, Impetus is preparing them for payment by results by ensuring they can measure and demonstrate their impact.

Impetus was a beneficiary of the Spear’s 1 Per Cent Campaign in 2012, when Spear’s encouraged its readers to give their time, money and expertise to various charities. At that time, Barone Soares said: ‘Our supporters tell us there are three things they love about Impetus.

‘Their money goes further, because our model leverages nearly £4 more in added value for every £1 we give to charities; we enable the organisations we support to become sustainable — the capacity-building support we provide has long-term impact; and supporters can also share their skills and experience to help our charities achieve greater impact.’

Read more from Spear’s on philanthropy

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