Wharton Advanced Management Program: Third Day

Editor’s note: Knight Foundation V.P. of Finance Juan Martinez is attending Wharton’s Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania (where he has made Ben Franklin’s acquaintance) for the next five weeks. Below is his second post with thoughts about assessing and mitigating risk (read his first post here).

Yesterday was an exciting and challenging day here at Wharton.

Some questions I’m wrestling with this week:

  • Who is Knight Foundation’s ultimate customer? Are we adding value for that customer?
  • How can we measure every foundation activity (from the beginning of the development process) as a function of impact? Expected impact?
  • In making resource allocation decisions, is there a way to determine impact per unit of investment?
  • As we set allocation targets within a grant portfolio, how can we: back/generate high-risk innovative ideas, scale social innovations, and act as a community stabilizer while allowing other opportunities to take root?
  • How do the three targets above work as a guide for discovering the types of projects we seek?

What do you think?

Our first group project will be to apply business thinking to a social problem; more on that in my next post.