Structuring for Impact: Creating Integrated Engines of Change

Which operating structures best support the use of an integrated, multi-tool approach (grants, investments, and/or advocacy) for achieving strategic impact?

To help answer that question, the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group researched how 20 founders across the country structure their impact work: what types of entities they select and how they manage and operate those entities. It quickly became clear that there is no clear “best” archetype for the integrated approach. Even if two founders use the same types of entities, they can set up and manage them very differently. The operating structures we examined clearly were influenced by the founder’s unique goals, preferences and priorities.

Therefore, WPPG asked a new question: How should a founder determine the optimal operating structure for what they uniquely want to achieve?

Combining  this  research  with  their  own  experiences,  WPGG developed  a  proposed holistic  approach  to  help  founders identify and establish new impact structures or adapt their existing structures to better meet their unique impact goals. This strategy paper shares these  learnings  in  the  hopes  that  they are helpful to others.