Thinkers and doers: introducing our new Head of Research


In 2017 we focussed on learning how to give effectively. This year we want to make sure that we are not only critical thinkers, but also doers. In this pursuit we have hired Vera Schölmerich as Head of Research starting February 2018.

Vera Scholmerich

Sharing high-impact opportunities

Vera’s responsibility will be two-fold. Firstly, she will coordinate, update and share high-impact Giving and Impact Investing opportunities (also published on our website): highly effective organisations which philanthropists can directly donate to or invest in. There will be a range of Giving and Investing opportunities to suit the needs and preferences of various asset owners, depending on their unique resources, including a list of Top Charities, Catalytic Investing opportunities and Catalytic Giving opportunities*.

 

In-house researcher

In addition, Vera will provide individual guidance and research support to philanthropists and impact investors to help them shape their giving and investing strategies and select the most effective opportunities for their unique resources. With this we are answering one of the most frequent requests from asset owners who want to give and invest effectively: an in-house researcher who can provide answers to their burning questions.

 

Background

Vera studied Development Economics at Cambridge University, and completed her PhD in reproductive health at Erasmus University in 2014. Vera worked as an Assistant Professor in Global Health, specialised in behavioural sciences, and was a lecturer in statistics at Erasmus University for several years before joining our team.

 

*) Catalytic Giving and Investment Opportunities = These are programs where at the time a donation/investment is made, we cannot be certain whether and to what extent the program will actually work. In other words, there is more ‘risk’ involved. At the same time, we expect that if it does work, then the return will be very high. These opportunities are therefore sometimes referred to as ‘high risk, high return’ and we can compare them to Top Charities: for top charities, the expected returns are much lower, but we can be more certain that the expected returns will be achieved as these programs have been evaluated extensively.