The Maverick Collective started in May 2016 with the broad idea to allow women with substantial means to help those without. A core group of 14 founding members promised to each spend at least $1 million over three years to test health interventions in the most impoverished places in partnership with not-for-profit Population Services International (PSI). The idea is to see if the venture capital approach to philanthropy can be a fast, effective way to change the world.
A philanthropic club where the entrance fee is seven figures sounds quite exclusive. Or perhaps exclusionary, depending on how comfortable you are with the super-rich setting the agenda for how life in poor communities should work. To help safeguard against a potential wealthy bias, the Collective is also trying to expand its boundaries, by letting groups of women pool their money until they reach enough to qualify for the group, thus opening up the rarefied air of high-value philanthropy to more people and perspectives.