Impact Investing

A Foundation Guide to Investing in Community Development Financial Institutions

Publication date: 

Investing in a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is a powerful way to directly engage in the local economy and increase access to capital in minority, underserved communities. This guide was developed with the support of the Satterberg Foundation to help board and staff members in the philanthropic sector examine the basic processes of building a relationship with a CDFI and structuring investments in it.

Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing

Publication date: 

When Surdna Foundation made the decision to allocate $100 million to impact investing, there was not a wide breadth of funds and tools available. As part of its investment, Surdna seeks to share its experience with others thinking about impact investing through this publication, drafted by The Giving Practice's Senior Partner Jan Jaffe.

Canopy: Committed to Investing in Our Region

Publication date: 

Canopy, a Pacific Northwest impact investing collaborative formed in 2015, released a white paper on its vision of investing in our region. The 16-page report, with a foreword by Philanthropy Northwest CEO Jeff Clarke, outlines the elements of place-based investing, philanthropy as catalytic capital, cross-sector collaboration, communities as unique investment ecosystems and bridging the gap between capital markets and communities.

IRS Blesses Private Foundation Mission-Related Investing: Implications for the Charitable Sector

Publication date: 

The IRS has formally confirmed that private foundations may make investments that further their charitable purposes even when those investments do not qualify as permitted program-related investments (“PRIs”) under the federal tax law. This is welcome news for proponents of mission-related investing. Davis Wright Tremaine Advisory.

Using Evidence to Scale What Works: 2015 State of the SIF report

Publication date: 

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) selects grantees through open competitions that have expertise in helping nonprofits expand capacity and build a track record of strong evidence and impact. With its emphasis on evaluation and results, the SIF seeks to grow the impact of successful programs to accelerate broad-scale change. This 109-page report presents an overview of its portfolio.

Scaling U.S. Community Investing: The Investor-Product Interface

Publication date: 

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), in partnership with the Carsey School of Public Policy, published Scaling U.S. Community Investing: The Investor-Product Interface, an in-depth landscape study of the U.S. Community Investing (USCI) field. The full report includes a detailed analysis of the major types of USCI products, parameters that different investors use to evaluate investment opportunities, and the barriers and opportunities to increasing investment. Scaling U.S. Community Investing explores the gaps in the investor-product interface to identify opportunities to encourage greater capital flows into the market and, hence, drive scale. The report highlights a need for better alignment of risk and return expectations, investment term, and liquidity between investors and investees, and identifies two priority recommendations for achieving scale. The study was produced with support from the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.

Essentials of Impact Investing: A Guide for Small-Staffed Foundations

Publication date: 
Seeking to increase their philanthropic impact, many engaged foundations are turning to impact investing. The reason is clear: The field and practice of impact investing have matured — structures are in place, best practices have emerged, and opportunities have multiplied — enabling more foundations to use this powerful tool. Yet entering unfamiliar terrain can be intimidating, and foundations with few or no staff face unique challenges even as they enjoy unique opportunities. Arabella Advisors, Exponent Philanthropy and Mission Investors Exchange address those challenges in this guide, including a program-related investment example from The O.P. & W.E. Edwards Foundation.