The Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing, believed to be the largest of its kind, provides foundations with invaluable insights into how the sector and individual portfolios are being shaped by responsible investing practices, potential hurdles to their adoption, and what the entry points are for those interested in fully engaging these practices in their endowment strategies.
Whether called impact investing, mission investing, program-related investing, or sustainable and responsible investing, foundations increasingly seek to leverage financial markets for social gains. These resources help your foundation explore the emerging strategies and diverse options available.
In-Depth knowledge on Impact Investing
Working in collaboration with the Center for American Progress, the Council co-hosted conversations among foundations, community development financial institutions, and investment firms about social impact bonds and Pay for Success. Out of these conversations, two issue briefs were created.
This issue brief from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) details the motivations, benefits, considerations and suitable scenarios behind the use of catalytic first-loss capital in impact investing transactions. Catalytic first-loss capital refers to socially- and environmentally-driven credit enhancement provided by an investor or grant-maker who agrees to bear first losses in an investment in order to catalyze the participation of co-investors that otherwise would not have entered the deal. Catalytic first-loss capital has gained recent prominence in impact investing dialogue as more investors look to enter the market.
The interactive Field Guide takes community foundations through three main stages of the impact investing journey: Learn, Design, and Activate. At each stage, visitors can click on various topics within that stage to learn more about what the topic entails and how other community foundations have approached place-based investing.
We are pleased to share a practical toolkit for community foundations looking to engage their donors in an impact investment program. Developed by Imprint Capital in partnership with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the toolkit outlines the entire process—from feasibility through implementation—to help a community foundation incorporate donor-advised funds (DAF) into their programs. Thanks to a generous grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, Imprint was able to test the concept with four community foundations fom 2010 to 2012 and identify multiple approaches to operating a DAF impact investment program.