Philanthropy Impact

Inspiring philanthropy and social investment across borders, sectors and causes

The Relationship Between Money & Mission: Understanding ROI in Philanthropy & Social Investment (Part 2)

Spring 2016

The Relationship Between Money & Mission: Understanding ROI in Philanthropy & Social Investment (Part 2)

Magazine
Welcome to the Philanthropy Impact Magazine Issue 11 (Part 2) focusing on the relationship between money and mission and measuring impact sponsored by the Arcus Foundation.
 

The Arcus Foundation is pleased to be partnering with Philanthropy Impact and to be sponsoring this edition of their magazine. Achieving and measuring impact is an essential element of any philanthropy. Below we have described one example a foundation can achieve significant impact.

On June 12, 2015, the US Fish & Wildlife Service publicly announced that it would reclassify the more than 700 chimpanzees being held in the country’s research labs from ‘threatened’ to ‘endangered.’ This action placed these chimps, long used as the subjects of invasive research, in the same protected category as their brethren living in the wild, increasing their level of protection and effectively retiring them from research. This policy change was the culmination of a seven-year effort by a group of NGOs—including the US Humane Society, Jane Goodall Institute, Animal Protection of New Mexico and New England Anti-Vivisection Society—that had been advocating tirelessly to end the harmful and ineffective practices being imposed on some of humanity’s closest relatives. One of the key supporters of their efforts was the Arcus Foundation, a funder based in the US and the UK, which is working to conserve the planet’s great apes by preserving habitat and ending exploitation.
 
The Arcus Foundation’s Great Ape program focuses on three strategic goals: 1) achieving conservation of apes in their range states by ensuring habitats are managed sustainably and integrated with economic development; 2) building and sustaining a movement to advance ape conservation and wellbeing; and 3) increasing recognition of and respect for the intrinsic value of apes, especially the right to live free of abuse, exploitation, and private ownership. It is in this third area—respect and value—that the Foundation supported efforts beginning in 2008, to protect the more than 700 chimpanzees held captive in research labs in the United States where they were often housed in deplorable conditions and subject to painful and degrading invasive research.
 
The US was one of the only countries still using chimpanzees in this manner, breeding them to live only as research subjects, warehousing them in cages (frequently in isolation from other chimps), and using them to test harmful drugs and other experimental treatments. Over time, it was shown that this experimentation was largely ineffective and only in extremely rare cases made any contribution to advances in human medicine. In addition to directly funding advocacy activities, such as the HSUS Chimps Deserve Better Campaign and APN M’s Chimpanzees to Sanctuary Campaign, Arcus supported studies that showed how invasive research practices were causing severe psychological trauma and physical harm to chimps, and how costly this experimentation was for the US government without yielding helpful scientific outcomes. This research provided advocates with new data they could use to argue their case to federal officials and to the public.
 
While this major policy success demonstrated how Arcus achieved impact in one of its key mission areas, it is only the first step toward the goal of ending exploitation of captive apes in the US. Unfortunately, the reclassification of lab chimps did not help the many still held as pets and trained for use in entertainment. Thus, there is more work to be done on these issues. Plus, now that more than 700 chimps have been retired, they will need to be relocated to sanctuary facilities that must be expanded to accommodate them. Often in philanthropy policy change is only the beginning.
 

Magazine contents

Magazine article
This article explores the rise of social innovations that migh clash both with expectations of philanthropy and business and how that can be avoided.
Magazine article
Click here to download the article in PDF. Charities are increasingly forced to face the harsh reality that funding streams previously open to them, particularly local and national government funding,...
Magazine article
Dowload the article in PDF. Investments that seek a double bottom line – financial return and social impact – consider more than profit in their calculation. For the patient impact...
Magazine article
Download this article as a PDF. St John’s Hospital is a locally focused charity in Bath, which has grown since 1174 to become a major philanthropic charitable foundation, built on...
Magazine article
Download the article as a PDF. For the past five years, I have had the privilege of being Chief Executive of Oxfordshire Community Foundation. After a lifetime in corporate business...
Magazine article
Download this article as a PDF. New instruments are emerging that show an indication of a reshaped capitalism, one in which economic activity is looked at with a new eye...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. Charities have (or will very shortly have) a new statutory power to make social investments introduced by the Charities (protection and Social investment) Act 2016...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. “Philanthropy – the promotion of welfare of others especially by generous donation of money to good causes.” Of itself, the definition is self-congratulating and self-perpetuating...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. Maximising impact means looking not only at what we do but at what we are as organisations, exploring whether we are fit for purpose. The...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. People who fund philanthropic enterprises have a natural inclination to want to ensure that their money is used for the purposes for which they gave...
Magazine article
When an organisation tries to achieve some social good, they won’t know whether they are achieving it unless they measure the impact of that work. This can be extremely tough...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. What is philanthropy? The term philanthropy, as many readers will recognise, means ‘love of humanity’ typically in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. In 2009, after years of abuse at the hands of her partner, Emma fled her home in Gateshead. She turned to the local women’s refuge,...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. Philanthropy is no longer a simple act of giving – the new generation of philanthropists are committed, innovative and engaged – they want to be...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. Operating in four countries in eastern Africa, Farm Africa is a charity working to reduce poverty permanently by unleashing African farmers’ abilities to grow their...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. Investment – by definition – is the acquisition of goods that are not consumed today but utilised in the future to create wealth. The level...
Magazine article
Download this article as pdf. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This quote has been attributed to Peter Drucker and famously adopted by McKinsey. Philanthropy thrives on...

  • Impact measurement