The Common Good Fund applies the principles of private equity to philanthropy

Published on Nov 18, 2023 at 11:01 a.m.

Value does not wait for the number of years and if the Common Good Fund is a new player in philanthropy, it has hit the ground running with already 50 million euros committed and the short-term objective of reach 80 million injected each year.

More than 150 projects from ociations and social enterprises such as Café Joyeux, Excellence Ruralités, La Maraude des Parlementaires, A bras Ouverts, Lazare, Urgences Patrimoine, are already supported. They were selected by a team of around forty experts from the world of start-ups, scale-ups, consulting (McKinsey, Bain, BCG), investment or the ociative sector.

The man who is leading this ambitious initiative is a committed thirty-year-old: Alban du Rostu. “After starting my career in finance in the United States and then in strategy consulting at McKinsey, I was caught up in the question of meaning. How can I align my professional life with my personal values ​​and put my skills at the service of the general interest? I met Pierre-Edouard Stérin, founder of Smartbox or The Fork, the first French business angel to give 100% of his ets and I found myself launching the Common Good Fund,” he explains.

Four priority areas

“We choose projects with high potential in four priority areas: education, solidarity, heritage and culture, human and spiritual growth. Then we define, with those who carry them, the best development strategies to change scale,” explains Alban du Rostu.

Four complementary levers are activated: an endowment fund for purely philanthropic operations (60% of activity), an investment fund to support lucrative initiatives with a lasting impact (20%), the Startup Studio project incubator, and the Solidarity Real Estate of the Common Good focused on meaningful real estate projects.

The resources come largely from capital gains generated by the Otium investment fund, created by Pierre-Edouard Stérin, which manages one billion euros in ets. Enough to finance multiple initiatives.

All-round projects

In the area of ​​solidarity, the fund supports, for example, La Maraude des Parlementaires, which takes elected officials to meet the excluded to change their outlook on the great poverty of the streets. “This has borne its first fruits: already more than 60 parliamentarians from all sides are involved,” welcomes Alban du Rostu.

Excellence Ruralités aims to create a whole network of schools in small towns undermined by school dropouts

Excellence Ruralités aims to create a whole network of schools in small towns undermined by school dropoutsDR

In education, the fund is notably alongside the Excellence Ruralités ociation, which wants to establish a network of schools to respond to the educational emergency in small towns. A first establishment was set up in La Fère in Aisne, a town of 3,000 inhabitants where youth unemployment reaches 41.2% and the school dropout rate 31%. A second establishment has opened in Charente. Others are being studied in the Somme, Burgundy, Perche or Auvergne.

One billion euros within 10 years

In terms of heritage, one of the flagship projects is that of Immersive Cities to promote medium-sized cities via spectacular and poetic scenic and technological devices around the Vikings in Rouen, the Lumière Brothers in Cannes, Champagne in Reims, Joan of Arc in Orléans… The goal is to fight against the hyperconcentration of culture in the metropolises.

Immersive Cities highlight the heritage of small and medium-sized towns through fun and spectacular visits.

Immersive Cities highlight the heritage of small and medium-sized towns through fun and spectacular visits.DR

Finally, regarding everything that allows us to train free and fulfilled young people, the Fund for the Common Good fights against depression through sport with I move for my morale, supports the missions of Spirit of Patronage or scouting…

“The idea is really to combine best practices from the entrepreneurial world with that of the charitable sector. In total, we plan to inject 1 billion euros over the next ten years through donations, impact investments and project creation! », welcomes Alban du Rostu.

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