Impact Investing

As needs in our communities grow faster than dollars, the Council is joining the conversation about unlocking new capital for social good. For decades, foundations have made impact investments that intend to generate financial and social returns to complement grants, partnerships, advocacy, and other tools in the philanthropic toolbox.

What is impact investing?

We define impact investing as any investment activity that intends to generate positive social and financial returns.

How is the Council involved?

In 2013, the Council is joining the impact investing conversation happening among foundations and other types of investors. As a connector, the Council is:

  • Listening to our members and making connections.
  • Organizing provocative conversations among foundations and other partners.
  • Aggregating resources to demystify the process.
  • Building relationships with thought leaders and intermediaries
  • Hosting an ongoing blog series on RE: Philanthropy.

How can you get involved?

  • Read and comment on the impact investing blog series.
  • E-mail us or take this survey to let us know what your foundation thinks about impact investing.
  • Follow the hashtag #impinv on Twitter.

This guide, published by Confluence Philanthropy, focuses on how a foundation can leverage its assets in service of its mission by investing cash locally through community-based financing. It reviews the different types of depositories, as well as the steps on how to get started carrying your cash, and also features two foundation case studies.

One of the simplest steps a foundation can take to leverage its assets in service of its mission is to invest cash locally through community-based financing. Community banking increases access to capital for low-income borrowers and businesses. Cash deposits of $250,000 or less in community financial institutions, credit unions, and regional banks are low-risk FDIC-insured investments that can further a foundation's philanthropic mission while offering competitive rates of return.

This learning forum, co-hosted by the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, the Council on Foundations, and the Southeastern Council of Foundations, will bring together a select group of staff and trustees from family and private foundations, family offices, community foundations, health foundations, advisors and other thought leaders in the field. We will take up a roundtable discussion on philanthropic investing for place-based impact in the Southeast.

The Council on Foundations is excited to partner with Village Capital, an organization that supports entrepreneurs seeking a positive benefit to society, on "Education Impact Day", a day-long series of events in Washington, DC on April 1.

Where you live shouldn’t determine how far you can go in life. The Opportunity Index is the nation’s first tool to holistically measure opportunity in communities. Connecting multiple economic, educational, and civic factors, the Index is a powerful way for states and counties to track and advance opportunity. The webinar included key highlights and trends from the latest data as well as examples of how leaders from the philanthropy, business and non-profit sectors around the country are using it to drive positive change.