How We Invest
A Portfolio Approach to Grantmaking
The Erol Foundation uses a portfolio approach to grantmaking. We develop synergistic, 10-year core funding areas around which we build knowledge, skills and relationships, strengthening our ability to impact the field over time. Within each core funding area we design a three-year strategy to explore specific topics where we believe we can make a difference. These three-year plans enable us to adaptively manage and learn from our grantmaking, and to be responsive to emerging needs and realities. We then translate our strategies into dynamic portfolios that seek leverage and results through multiple grants to confront different angles of a problem. We welcome projects that bring together overlapping elements and combine approaches in a multi-faceted or holistic systems approach.
We are especially interested in models that have the potential to be adapted and scaled. We often target projects in the proof-of-concept phase – providing an on-the-ground evaluation of a promising model. Once the proof of concept is validated, we may consider reinvesting in an organization to build the vision, strategy, leadership and other capacities to take the project to the next level. We also fund activities to share the wisdom gained through basic research and the practical experience of implementation.