News & Media

Venture Philanthropy Safeguards Sustainability

Jan 22 2021

Last month, David and Laura had the honor to share their unique approach to social impact with Inside Philanthropy. Author Ade Adeniji shared the history of generational giving which helped formed a strong foundation for David and Laura’s attitude toward their role in society. A role they see as truly making a sustainable difference for their community.

The article goes on to talk about Laura and David’s distinctive style of giving called venture philanthropy. Adeniji defines venture philanthropy as “harnesses business ideas hoping to create bigger, better organizations that operate with more rigor and achieve greater impact.” It is very important to the Merages to be a part of each and every philanthropic project such as Early Learning Ventures and Black Cube. It is with this infusion of time and business acumen that has really elevated the sustainability of their initiatives and amplified their impact over the last twenty years.

“This is our DNA… we go along with the check. We feel that it is essential for our organizations that we help by lending our expertise, our knowledge, and our years.”

Although David and Laura are extremely proud of the successes they’ve seen, it’s been hard for them to step away from promoting the meaningful programs they’ve started to a larger narrative on how the work is done. So why the change now? Over the last twenty years, the David and Laura Merage Foundation has seen notable success and sustainability in this type of approach that it became so obvious that this style needed to be encouraged. “Can you imagine if everyone embraced this model and brought their knowledge and experience? What a tremendous force,” David shared.  “Looking around the business world, the Merages see an untapped pool of talent and human capital that can be harnessed for philanthropy” and magnifying that impact could really change so many people’s lives and really that’s what it’s all about.

The article is a very comprehensives look at the successful programs and initiatives the foundation has sustained throughout the nearly two decades since it was founded. Additionally it highlights other family foundations such as David parent’s efforts with the Andre and Katherine Merage Foundation. Laura explained, “His father was able to stand on the shoulders of people before, and we, too, are standing on the shoulders of our fathers and mothers, and we continue to pay it forward.” David and Laura worked hard to instill these values in their children who now run the Jonathan Merage Foundation and the Sabrina Merage Foundation

Read the Inside Philanthropy article in full.