Community Foundations and Impact Investing

Forbes reports that a growing number of community foundations are using impact investing to achieve their mission. The article is based on findings in   A New Anchor Mission for a New Century, a new report issued by the Maryland-based Democracy Collaborative.  The authors studied and report on 30 innovative community foundations  (29 in the States and one from Edmonton) that are doing much more than grant-making to effect change in their communities. In addition to highlighting the objectives, benefits, barriers and the steps for starting an impact investing program, the report identifies the following four strategies: Partnering with community development financial institutions (CDFIs) Creating loan pools Providing loan guarnatees Direct investment in local economic development efforts. The report also provides further details on each of the 30...

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Canadian Impact Investing Resources

Canadian Impact Investing Resources

Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) has taken a leadership role in encouraging its members to consider implementing the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance recommendation that foundations invest at least 10% of their capital in mission-related investments (MRI) by 2020. CFC currently provides a number of resources for and about impact investing and Canadian community foundations including information about the range of approaches, investment options and resources.  ...

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Impact Investment Due Diligence

Impact Investment Due Diligence

We recently provided due diligence reports on impact investments for charitable foundations in the US.  Due diligence clients have included the Vermont Community Foundation, High Meadows Fund and the Castanea Foundation.  All three foundations are leaders in using impact investments to further advance their public-purpose missions.  The Vermont Community Foundation is committed to building philanthropic resources that will sustain healthy and vital Vermont communities now and into the future.  High Meadows is extremely concerned about the impact of a changing climate.  They focus their activities on energy, land use and sustainable agriculture.  Castanea’s mission is to conserve and protect agriculturally productive and environmentally significant land and water resources in its target region. The Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) is a leader among community foundations in impact investments.  In 2002, VCF’s Board made the commitment to invest up to 5% of its capital pool in mission-related projects within the state.  By the end of 2013, the foundation had over $7 million invested in Vermont-based organizations and businesses.  Initial investments were made in regional intermediaries like community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and venture funds; more recently the fund has made direct investments in businesses and organizations.  VCF helped develop the Community Foundation Field Guide to Impact Investing, now used by community foundations across the US. The High Meadows Fund is committed to promoting vibrant communities and a healthy natural environment while encouraging long-term economic vitality in Vermont. The Fund helps Vermonters mitigate the impact of climate change and adapt to its consequences, such as extreme weather events.   High Meadows invests a portion of its assets in enterprises that encourage new farm and food businesses, land conservation, and building performance improvements that lower the reliance on fossil fuels, typically through pooled...

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Resource for Foundations – Mission Investors Exchange

Resource for Foundations – Mission Investors Exchange

Great Tools for Foundations interested in Impact Investing A member organization and web site offering great resources for foundations and other charitable funders (generally US-based) thinking about mission-related, program-related or impact investments. Publisher of the Community Foundation Field Guide to Impact Investing, now used across the...

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