Laura TomaskoJoining the Impact Investing Conversation

By: Laura Tomasko In: Impact Investing| Impact Investing Series| Philanthropy

20 Feb 2013

This is the first post in an ongoing impact investing series on RE: Philanthropy.

The new vision for the Council on Foundations, as President and CEO Vikki Spruill outlined in her blog post “Relevance + Network + Speed = Impact,” describes exactly how and why the Council is poised to support foundations interested in impact investing.

Impact investing, which we define as investments that intend to produce both financial and social returns, is a tool—like grants, convening, and advocacy—that foundations can use to meet the needs of the communities they serve. While foundations and other investors have made impact investments for decades, many recognize a recent surge of interest. As Vikki wrote, the new Council is a point of connection,  and we will flex our connector muscle and step into the conversation.

Expect to see the Council talking to members to learn more about how and why they are making impact investments. Take a minute to fill out this simple, four-question survey to let us know what your foundation is thinking about impact investing.

Expect the Council to organize provocative conversations that build relationships and break down barriers of communication between foundation investors and intermediaries. Through regional meetings this year, the Council will convene foundations, Community Development Financial Institutions, banks, and other actors that  are willing to have honest conversations about what works—and what doesn’t—when it comes to making impact investments together.

Expect the Council to aggregate resources that demystify the process of impact investing. Already, we have formed a collaborative focused on enabling community foundations to participate through donor advised funds, discretionary assets, or both. We are building relationships with thought leaders and intermediaries to hear what they have to say, and connecting those ideas and resources back to our membership.

This blog post is the first in an ongoing impact investing series on RE: Philanthropy. The goal of this series is to provide an online forum for thoughtful commentary and discussion about the impact investing world as it relates to foundations. If you have an idea that you would like to submit for the blog series, let me know. The next blog post will explore why impact investing alone is not sufficient for creating change.

Many have hypothesized that 2013 will be a big year for impact investing. Whether or not that proves to be the case, we are here to connect you to the impact investing knowledge, leaders, and organizations your foundation needs for success.

Laura Tomasko is curating a conversation about impact investing at the Council on Foundations. Connect with her by e-mail and on Twitter @lauratomasko.

3 Responses to Joining the Impact Investing Conversation

Peter Berliner

March 5th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

We welcome your active engagement in this exciting field, and we are thrilled to partner with COF to spread the word about impacting investing.

Peter Berliner, Mission Investors Exchange

Oxford University Said Business School Offers Inaugural Impact Investing Event Following Skoll World Forum - RE:Philanthropy

March 7th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

[...] what is meant by “impact investing”? As my colleague Laura Tomasko has written, impact investing, simply speaking, is investment intended to produce both financial [...]

Interested in Impact Investing? Welcome to Chicago! - RE:Philanthropy

April 7th, 2013 at 12:05 pm

[...] Council’s important 2013 impact investing initiative is enriching this year’s Annual Conference agenda. Through sessions on Monday, April 8, [...]

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