The philanthropic community is facing a moment of truth, urgently seeking to address a global pandemic, systemic racial inequity, an accelerating climate crisis, and more. To meet this moment, philanthropists must look beyond traditional grant-making and explore all the tools in the philanthropic toolkit, including their convening power, social capital, policy and advocacy efforts, and investment strategies. This collection of resources, brought to you by Mission Investors Exchange (MIE), will focus on the power of impact investing.
MIE is the leading impact investing network for foundations and their partners, with 250 members dedicated to deploying capital for social and environmental change. We are delighted to curate these strategies and projects that show what impact investing looks like in action. It is our hope that beginner and experienced investors alike will be inspired by the big ideas and concrete how-to’s in this collection and will join the growing number of philanthropists using impact investing to drive greater impact.
Impact investing is broadly defined as making investments that intentionally seek social or environmental impact alongside some level of financial return. While the term “impact investing” was coined roughly ten years ago, philanthropists have been making these kinds of “social investments” or “mission investments” for decades. And it’s easier now than ever.
You don’t have to be one of the nation’s largest foundations or commit 100% of your endowment to mission to make impact investing work for you. As the field has evolved, there are an increasing number of ways to invest that can meet your unique needs - balancing your risk appetite, financial expectations, and impact goals, whatever they may be.
For example, whether your mission is focused on access to affordable housing or quality healthcare, advancing racial justice, reducing the carbon footprint, or building the creative economy, there are endless opportunities to use impact investing to deepen your impact.
There are many low-risk ways to get started, from providing a low-interest loan to a long-standing grantee to depositing cash in a mission-oriented or minority-owned bank to investing in a well-established intermediary like a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
And, as you’ll see, experienced impact investors are getting more creative and innovative every day, building new partnerships, deploying catalytic capital that attracts mainstream investors, and utilizing a range of tax incentives to invest for impact.
Through a mix of essays and investment spotlights listed below, this collection illustrates how foundations and other asset owners are utilizing a diverse range of investment strategies to meet their missions and drive greater impact. Please stay tuned as we continue to add more content in the weeks to come. And visit the MIE website for specialized Resource Libraries on Impact Investing 101, Racial Equity and Impact Investing, Place-Based Investing, and much more.
It has never been more urgent for philanthropists to align more of their assets with mission. We hope this collection will inspire and equip you to start, grow, or deepen your impact investing practice as you work to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. Feel free to reach out to me or other MIE team members to learn more as you continue on your impact investing journey.
Mission Investors Exchange
View This Growing Collection of Impact Investing Content — And Check Back As We Add More!
- Advancing Racial Equity in the Investment Industry: Global Endowment Management
- Supporting Access to PPP Funding for Underserved Communities: A Network-Based Approach: Self-Help Federal Credit Union and The California Endowment
- Accelerating Economic Mobility through Inclusive Capital for Businesses Led by People of Color and Women: Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
- Accelerating Homeownership through Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership: Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
- Centering on Impact: A Stakeholder-Centered Approach to Evaluating and Aligning Investments: Global Endowment Management
- Investing With Intentionality to Support Entrepreneurs and Business Owners of Color: Global Endowment Management
- Inclusiv Southern Equity Fund: The Kresge Foundation
- Investing to Support Continued Delivery of Critical Community Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Northern Trust and Rotary Charities
- Advancing Financial Security Through Emergency Cash Grants For College Students: ECMC Foundation
- Building Community Support Systems in Postsecondary Education to Help Students Succeed: ECMC Foundation
- Supporting Community Owned Real Estate (CORE) in California: The California Endowment