Today, portfolio theory has much to offer grantmakers and grantees that are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they seek social return on investment. In this paper, we explore in detail how portfolio theory can help philanthropists seeking to balance the risk and return of their grant portfolios – sets of grants with shared goals. By applying these principles to some of the decisions the Hewlett Foundation’s Education Program made when designing its “deeper learning” initiative, we show that portfolio theory offers practical insights about how to balance risk and social return.
How portfolio theory can help philanthropists seek to balance the risk and return of grant portfolios.
By applying principles to the Hewlett Foundation's Education Program, we show that portfolio theory offers practical insights.