Ms Axelle Marjolin

Postgraduate Research

Research Area: Policy Design, Impact & Evaluation

Research Topic: The experience of Australian non-profit organisations with venture philanthropy
Supervisor: Dr Natasha Cortis

Additional supervisor: Dr Abigail Powell, Centre for Social Impact, UNSW

Co-Supervisor: Professor Kristy Muir, Centre for Social Impact, UNSW

To date, the experience of nonprofits with venture philanthropy has largely remained unexplored. Borrowing venture capital investment principles, venture philanthropy seeks to enable nonprofits to grow their impact by focusing on building their organisational capacity. Yet, by bringing an investment lens to how nonprofits are resourced, venture philanthropy requires that nonprofits reengineer themselves. Using a case study approach, Axelle’s research investigates whether venture philanthropy improves Australian nonprofits capacity to tackle social problems, and with what effects on their operations.

In addition to filling a gap in scholarship, findings about grantees’ perceptions of what works and doesn’t will inform the practice of venture philanthropy; a movement that is growing in Australia and globally, and has potential to grow further. By looking at the effects of applying business practices to resourcing nonprofits, this research will also provide lessons for the broader field of social finance, and extend the literature on financing nonprofits.

Axelle is a part of the Arts and Social Sciences HDR Student Committee as a representative from SPRC.