Seeking ways to maximize the social and economic returns of their place-based impact investments, foundations, CDFIs, private investors, and others are turning to collaboration. To support these efforts and facilitate lesson sharing, the Urban Institute and Mission Investors Exchange have produced a set of three practitioner briefs designed to focus on elements of place-based impact investing that have surfaced in research and conversations with practitioners as opportunities for knowledge exchange: building strong ecosystems, mapping opportunities and capacities, and deploying capital on the ground together through impact investing collaborations. Each brief presents the concept, highlights practitioner examples, and elevates lessons from the field.
New York, March 26-28
The 2 ½ day training will be held at Ford Foundation’s Center for Social Justice on E 43rd Street, covering the essentials of impact investing. The Institute is for staff of foundations or other philanthropic asset owners who are new to the field — whether they’re starting a program from scratch or joining an established program. If there are individuals in your network who could benefit from the Institute, we are happy to offer this referral discount and would be grateful if you could share the opportunity— you can find summary information at the end of this email, along with information on how to apply the discount. GCRI members receive a $200 discount off the non-member rate. Registration for the Institute closes March 11th. Visit here for more information and to register. Contact Nancy Wolanski for information on accessing discount. Nancy.firstname.lastname@example.org
Read this story from Tina Wahl, President of the Barra Foundation, who credits the 2016 Mission Investing Institute with giving her the tools that enabled her to steer the Barra Foundation towards their first mission-related investment. Read this summary of themes and lessons learned from the 2017 Mission Investing Institute, in Troy Michigan.
Rhode Island Foundation Impact Investing Initiative, Entrepreneurial Innovation Fellowship
The Rhode Island Foundation has embarked on an impact investing initiative to invest 5% of the endowment in ventures that have measurable social impact as well as financial return. Projects will be local and place-based, and will yield a direct impact for Rhode Island, primarily in strategic initiative areas: educational success, healthy lives, and economic security.
The Providence Journal recently highlighted the ways that the Foundation’s initiative: Learn more in the Journal.
The Rhode Island Foundation is also seeking applications for the Carter Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Innovation, made possible through the vision and generosity of philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter, designed to stimulate solutions to Rhode Island challenges. Fellows will receive up to $200,000 over four years to test and implement innovative ideas that could dramatically improve an area of life in Rhode Island. Up to three Fellows are selected annually.
For those interested in additional resources on Mission Related Investments (MRI), here are some resources:
Articles and Publications
Bay Area Impact Investing Initiative: “What is Place-Based Impact Investing?”
Center for Effective Philanthropy: “Investing and Social Impact: Practices of Private Foundations”
Council of Development Finance Agencies: “Urban Revitalization and Impact Investing”
Goldman Sachs: “Right Tools, Right Time: The Rise of Impact Investing”
Grantmakers in the Arts: “How to Invest in the Arts Without Buying a Picasso”
Mission Investors Exchange: “Equity Advancing Equity”
National Center for Family Philanthropy: “Getting started with impact investing: Overcoming resistance from family and board members”
Philanthropy News Digest: “Study calls on impact investors to close educational attainment gaps”
Pacific Community Ventures: What’s New in Impact Investing
Stanford Social Innovation Review: “Mission Possible: How Foundations Are Shaping the Future of Impact Investing” – series of mission investment articles
Surdna Foundation: ”Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing”
United Nations: Principles for Responsible Investment
Two New “Marketplaces” for Impact Investments
Atlantic Philanthropies has banked its investment decisions on the philosophy that since a foundation’s grants generate a social return, those returns compound at a higher rate than its financial assets would, so more immediate grants will generate more social value than preserving the capital and making more grants later. This is the premise behind limited life foundations. Value, Time, and Time-Limited Philanthropy, highlights discussions among philanthropic leaders, advisors, and scholars about the social value a philanthropic initiative can be estimated to generate — taking into account direct outlay, social value, ripple effects, and durability — and whether, considering social utility, rates of return, and the compounding or erosion of value over time, the premise holds true for three Atlantic Philanthropies-funded initiatives. Initial study is showing that Atlantic’s short-term investments are paying off, in part because other foundations have taken a slower, more sustained approach, so there may be an important role for both approaches to funding to address systemic issues.
Healthcare Access and Affordability
Five organizations – Rhode Island Free Clinic, Clinica Esperanza, Crossroads Rhode Island, South County Hospital Health Care, and Thundermist Health Center – are receiving more than $270,000 through the RIGHA Foundation Fund to make quality healthcare more accessible and affordable for Rhode Islanders.
“Developing an inclusive primary care system that promotes healthy lives is one of our core strategic initiatives. These grants will advance our continuing efforts to make quality health care more accessible and affordable,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.
Rhode Island Foundation announced a new mission-related investing initiative to support projects that are local and place-based, and will yield a direct impact for Rhode Island, primarily in the Foundation’s strategic initiative areas: educational success, healthy lives, and economic security. Initial efforts will focus on a loan fund in 2017. In the first year, loans will range between $200,000 and $1,000,000, with terms generally up to 10 years. To learn more about the Foundation’s Impact Investing strategy, join GCRI for an informative session at the Foundation on May 25 (see events calendar for more details).