Developing a foundation with a systemic positive impact on Mental Health

Mental Health Venture Philanthropy France

Problem

In recent years, mental health has become a major issue in our society. Every year in France, one in five people suffer from a mental health disorder, that is 13 million people. In the absence of effective treatment and support, as well as early care, these disorders have devastating effects on people suffering from mental illness and their families.

Client's ambition

A family wants to create a foundation that will have a systemic impact on mental health. They have given themselves 20 to 30 years to make a difference. This foundation will operate in Europe, more specifically in France. The ambition is declared: the family wants to tackle the issue of mental health and become a real “game changer” on this subject.

Solution

In 2019, the Foundation has developed its mission: “to improve the mental health of all by accompanying the actors in the field”. The Foundation has chosen a “Venture Philanthropy” approach which consists in providing support (advice, management, network) beyond financial support to the various beneficiaries. The Foundation will thus help them to develop on a large scale. In some cases, the Foundation could play the role of operator or even create its own projects.

Telos Impact

Telos Impact was asked to assist the Foundation in establishing itself in Europe.

  1. Telos first played a unifying role by combining the interests of each family member to define the Foundation’s field of action.
  2. Telos then structured the Foundation on the legal and governance aspects.
  3. In order to make the Foundation’s mission a reality, Telos established its strategy and impact measurement. Following a methodology designed by Telos, a rigorous process of sourcing, due diligence and selection of projects was put in place. In the end, projects are validated and monitored by family members.
  4. Since then, Telos has been responsible for the management of the Foundation. Equipped with specific management tools for foundations, Telos handles all processes: sourcing, analysis and support of projects, governance, and development of the international network.
  5. Impact measurement: Telos has set up a system for monitoring and evaluating the impact of its beneficiaries and all of the Foundation’s activities.

Results

The Foundation has established a strategy that enables it to optimise its action as a leading philanthropic player in mental health. Four strategic axes have been established: (1) promoting the earliest possible care for patients; (2) contributing to changes in therapeutic practices; (3) facilitating integration into the mainstream environment; (4) changing the way mental illness is represented.

In three years, 16 projects have already been supported and are gradually being developed on a national scale. Telos ensures the spin-off of these projects, the nature of which varies according to the needs of each strategic pillar: development of pilot projects, research programmes, property developments, film production, etc.

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