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The Jewish Exponent, Philadelphia’s premier Jewish newspaper, ran a recent story on the Venture Philanthropy Partnership:
While cooperation among charitable foundations is nothing new, the scope of this collaboration marks a new chapter for the local Jewish community, representing what is believed to be the largest effort yet at bringing together different funding sources for what is known as venture philanthropy.
Ruderman said that the emergence of the VPP is just the latest evidence that the Jewish community — with both private funds and public charities — is increasingly approaching their work from a business perspective, even as they deal with the long-term effects of the recession.
“It behooves us to work in this way,” said Ruderman, who lives in Israel. “Philanthropists are not looking at a particular project, they are looking for creative, intelligent ways to change their community.”
The piece is an excellent introduction to the innovative approach to philanthropy that the VPP is taking, and to the tangible benefits that it is providing to Philadelphia’s Jewish population. By pooling resources to reduce risk, and defining clearer goals, the VPP will be able to take every dollar further, and change the entire culture of charity. Their model is one that every charity, including the Ruderman Family Foundation, should look at closely.