The Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm which helps to scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic, social, and political change. It funds both non-profit and profitable ventures, as well as several hybrids.
"Imagine what's possible if entrepreneurship flourishes worldwide. Omidyar Network aims to create opportunity for entrepreneurs to succeed. When they do, so do their families and communities. People living in poverty are often ignored by mainstream businesses. We will prioritize our support for entrepreneurs providing services and products that can improve quality of life for those most in need."
Matt Bannick is a managing partner at Omidyar Network.
Matt Bannick, managing partner at Omidyar Network, argues non-profit foundations should be investing more money in for-profit enterprises that are focused on social improvement, while handing out less money in grants.
Voluntary, organized efforts intended for socially useful purposes. Philanthropic groups existed in the ancient civilizations of the Middle East, Greece, and Rome: an endowment supported Plato's Academy (c. 387 BC) for some 900 years; the Islamic waqf (religious endowment) dates to the 7th century AD; and the medieval Christian church administered trusts for benevolent purposes. Merchants in 17th- and 18th-century western Europe founded organizations for worthy causes. Starting in the late 19th century, large personal fortunes led to the creation of private foundations that bequeathed gifts totaling millions and then billions in support of the arts, education, medical research, public policy, social services, environmental causes, and other special interests. SeeAndrew Carnegie; B'nai B'rith; Bill Gates; George Peabody; Rockefeller Foundation; Straus family.