PRESS RELEASE: Agora Fund Will Bring Rigor of Investing to Philanthropy
Friday, November 21, 2014
Agora Fund, a new marketplace for giving, is beta launching its operations today. Agora Fund makes giving enjoyable, easy, and impact-oriented by providing donors with a customized portfolio of the highest-impact nonprofits aligned with their philanthropic preferences.
Agora Fund’s support for donors is part of a long-term initiative to build a more transparent marketplace for philanthropy. “Measuring social impact is not easy, but it is possible. The biggest challenge with standardizing impact measurement is that we all care about different things – the value of feeding children in India may be highest for one donor, while the value of spurring economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa may be critical to someone else. So it’s impossible for anyone to put forward standard metrics telling donors which nonprofits are the ‘highest impact,’” says Angela Campbell, Agora Fund’s Founder and CEO. As a result, nonprofits spend about 20 cents of every dollar raised on marketing, trying to find donors who care about their unique cause.
To address this, Agora Fund allows each donor to connect with the highest impact nonprofits based on his or her own unique preferences by weighting a range of metrics for each donor. “We compare nonprofits for each donor using rigorous customization based on meaningful metrics,” explains Campbell. Agora Fund’s metrics focus on sustainable outcomes such as long-term increase in household income or years added to a person’s life, rather than the activity-based metrics that most nonprofits use today, such as ‘number of children reached.’ According to Campbell, “By supporting the dialogue surrounding impact, Agora Fund enables the sector as a whole to improve measurement.”
“Agora Fund helps to fill an important role in driving the conversation forward around impact,” stated Ken Berger, CEO of Charity Navigator, the largest charity rating organization in the world. “We at Charity Navigator know very well that the limited availability of data that speaks directly to a charity’s results makes it difficult for donors to make informed decisions based on a nonprofit’s impact.” Dean Karlan, President and Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action, adds, “Impact evaluations should be comparative. It isn’t just about whether something works, but also about how to do the most good with your donation.”
Today, Agora Fund invites both individual and corporate donors to join its community. Early invitees to Agora Fund’s philanthropic community applaud its ease of use and the ability to receive clear, meaningful metrics on their giving. The Agora Fund team together brings over six decades of experience in charitable funding, nonprofit evaluations, and for-profit investing to the new platform. Their team has experience supporting major foundations, corporations, high net worth individuals, and individual donors with determining where and how to give. To make an impact today, visit Agora Fund online at www.agorafund.org to request an invitation to join Agora Fund’s community.
Agora Fund Contact: Angela Rastegar Campbell