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As a second generation family member, former entrepreneur, and the professional head of our family's philanthropic umbrella, I oversee both our established portfolio of grants as well as our growing portfolio of impact investments. We have had enough success with our impact investments that I can identify three factors that have contributed to their positive performance:
- We have limited our impact portfolio to mission-related investments (MRIs) that are carved-out of the corpus of one of our foundations.
- We have sought to achieve risk-adjusted market-rate returns; and
- We have tried to ensure the same or greater social impact than would have been achieved had the funds been paid out as straight grants.
As a family, we have been very satisfied with the results of our impact investing strategy. In addition to our impact investments meeting our internal financial and social return goals, we are pleased that our resources are having a multiplier effect and are helping to develop a new market for grass-finished kosher beef. It is very exciting to be able to leverage capitalism as a tool for creating effective and sustainable social change.
Simone Friedman serves as the Head of Philanthropy and Impact Investment for EJF Philanthropies.