Philanthropy Northwest

Build. Connect. Inspire.

Rosalie Sheehy Cates

Rosalie
Sheehy Cates
Senior Advisor, The Giving Practice and Impact Investing Catalyst Fellow

Rosalie is a community investment consultant. She helps mission investors find and make deals that create affordable housing, community facilities, local food systems and small businesses. Rosalie has also managed a number of national initiatives, working to build new investment tools, platforms and funds. Rosalie’s emphasizes practical strategies grounded in local relationships.

Rosalie was with the Montana Community Development Corporation from 1989-2010, including 14 years as CEO. Prior to that Rosalie lived in rural Wisconsin (1980-1989) where she was an organizer for family farms and sustainable agriculture. She also helped with her family’s small cattle operation. She lives with her family in Missoula, Montana.

Rosalie Sheehy Cates's blog posts

July 9, 2018

rcates@philanthropynw.orgEditor's Note: An Executive in Residence at Philanthropy Northwest, Rosalie works with foundation trustees and executive staff to set up impact investing programs, and to solve investing issues. From this Front Row Seat, she sees some very good ideas. In this multi-part blog series, Rosalie shares observations and insights care of many smart and innovative foundations and financial advisors working to make impact investments in the (mostly) Pacific Northwest region.

In this post, Rosalie notes that risk is a huge and relevant topic for investors. Do we take it too far? more »

March 22, 2018

The first in a series of "Front Row Seat" vignettes on impact investing, I'm pleased to share how Northwest Area Foundation has cracked an important investing nut for foundations—finding market-rate investments in its rural, small-town service areas. They did it, and you can too.  more »

November 28, 2017

If you are an endowment manager, or an impact investor, we’ve two new resources for you! Now available for download: The Council on Foundations and Commonfund Institute's 2016 Study of Investment of Endowments for Private and Community Foundations as well as Philanthropy Northwest's Foundation Guide to Investing in Community Development Financial Institutions.

  more »

September 6, 2017

Philanthropy Northwest is exploring a bond fund that would give members an easy new way to make investments in the communities they care about. Modeled after a successful effort in Minnesota, we’re excited to explore this opportunity with our members. I’ll be hosting a lunch meeting during the annual conference where members can learn more and share ideas.  more »

February 22, 2017

One hundred million dollars.

That’s how much money Surdna Foundation has now allocated to impact investing, just in time for its 100th anniversary. It’s an exciting decision, and you can read all about the private foundation's decision-making process in Mapping the Journey to Impact Investinga new report researched and drafted by Jan Jaffe, senior partner of The Giving Practice, Philanthropy Northwest's national consulting team. more »

July 17, 2016

Business is changing the world. Foundations are built to make grants to nonprofits, but if foundations want to influence change, we have to work in the for-profit business sector, too. It's that simple. The tool for this is investing. If we don’t do this, our foundation efforts are limited to the capacity of the nonprofit sector to steer the course, or clean up the mess. more »

May 25, 2016

It’s not every day you find the top officers from the biggest foundations in the United States chatting about their commitment to impact investing. It happened, though, at the Mission Investors Exchange (MIE) biennial conference in Baltimore, Maryland. From May 9 to 11, the CEOs of Meyer Memorial Trust and the Ford, Kresge, MacArthur, McKnight and Surdna foundations each took the stage to share their stories, commitment and strategies for "Seizing the Momentum" of impact investing. The size and stature of these foundations are a testament to MIE’s organizational reach and impact investing’s increasingly mainstream appeal. It may be a little overwhelming however, for smaller foundations and organizations just beginning to explore this tool. The MIE conference can feel like the arcade at the state fair: Over here we have real estate strategies to fight gentrification! Over there are fisheries, already accelerated to Version 2.0!  And over there, how to invest our way out of climate change! I think this is overwhelming in a good way, though. more »

September 9, 2015

Rosalie Sheehy Cates, Senior Advisor, The Giving Practice | I officially declare that mission investing among foundations and family offices is at a tipping point. The number of early adopters has reached a critical mass, providing enough results and pulling enough products and services into the market to tempt mainstream audiences to take a serious look. Mission investing is everywhere — it comes up at conferences, in board rooms and at professional meetings. New funds and managers are introduced every week. Hold onto your hats, because it looks like the sector will be very, very busy in the next few years. more »