Why Venn?


PRI's are Incredibly Under-utilized 

Notwithstanding the pioneering role that major foundations like Ford Foundation, Gates Foundation, and Northwest Area Foundation, among others have played in demonstrating the power of PRIs over the years, PRIs remain incredibly under-utilized by the field as a whole.  

The Lilly School of Philanthropy found that in 2004, the peak year for PRI activity from 2000-2010, only 137 out of 66,000 US foundations made PRIs and less than 1% of all charitable distribution dollars were structured as PRIs.  If PRIs are so powerful, how is it possible that only a tiny fraction of foundations nationwide made even one PRI during that entire decade?

Common Barriers to PRI's

The Lilly School's report identified four common barriers to PRIs for foundations:

  • Shortage of information about PRIs and their features
  • Lack of internal staff capacity or expertise in PRI management
  • High transaction and ongoing administrative costs
  • Challenges identifying appropriate opportunities 


How Venn Helps

Venn can help foundations overcome each of these potential barriers by providing resources and customized services throughout each phase of the "Learn, Plan, Execute" PRI Cycle, especially execution.  Over time, Venn hopes to develop economies of scale, enable nationwide PRI syndication, and significantly reduce PRI transaction costs for foundations, allowing them to use PRIs as regularly and creatively as they do grants today.


Venn:  Born from Experience

The vision for Venn Foundation arose out of a special PRI pilot initiative conducted by Jeanne M. Voigt Foundation in partnership with Sugahara Foundation, Bush Foundation, and seven individuals.  Learn more...