Capital is the fuel that drives the operations and growth of an enterprise, whether it’s structured as a for profit company or a nonprofit organization. But the capital markets that serve these enterprises differ significantly in how they invest—differences that often compromise the financial strength and resilience of the nonprofit sector. The Blueprint for Enterprise Capital outlines the challenges that nonprofits face when seeking funding from the capital markets that serve nonprofits and describes the role and value provided by providing “enterprise-level capital”, or philanthropic equity, as a best practice. The Blueprint also offers a product design and program delivery structure for use by funders and investors ready to launch an initiative. It closes by calling for the creation of 21st century nonprofit capital markets where enterprise capital plays an essential role in ensuring that philanthropy rises to this challenge. Given the extraordinary challenges faced by low-income and communities of color as the result of the pandemic, the Blueprint for Enterprise Capital offers a roadmap for strengthening the “essential workplaces” of our economy.
The Blueprint emerged during Andrea Levere’s (‘83) Executive Fellowship, hosted by the International Center for Finance (ICF), which focused on how finance can advance a more equitable economy. Her research was supported by five outstanding research assistants from SOM—Corey Baron ‘21, Elizabeth Davidson ‘20, Bryan Fike ‘20, Alexandra Sing ‘20 and Vicky Zhang ‘20—whose contributions to the Blueprint were so significant that they are credited as co-authors.
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Blueprint for Enterprise Capital: A Strategy for Aligning Capital and Capacity to Magnify Nonprofit Impact