Impact Investing

New Report: Opportunities for Impact Investing in Employee Ownership

With income inequality in the United States at record high levels, employee ownership is increasingly being lauded as a potential solution to spreading wealth more broadly. Read more about New Report: Opportunities for Impact Investing in Employee Ownership...

Impact investing and employee ownership: Making employee-owned enterprises part of the income inequality solution

Mary Ann Beyster

With income inequality in the United States at record high levels, employee ownership is increasingly being lauded as a potential solution to spreading wealth more broadly. Most recently, research from the National Center for Employee Ownership released in May shows that employee owners have a household net worth that is 92 percent higher than non-employee owners. They also make 33 percent higher wages, and are far less likely to be laid off. 

But employee ownership requires new investment in order to get to scale. A new report by Mary Ann Beyster, president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), published by the Fifty by Fifty initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, examines the investing landscape for potential opportunities in employee ownership. The report, Impact Investing and Employee Ownership, reports on the results from six months of research showing that the opportunities for impact investors to support employee ownership are limited, but that an investing infrastructure is beginning to emerge across asset classes. 

Meet the Radical Workers’ Cooperative Growing in the Heart of the Deep South

Peter Moskowitz
The Nation

 Cooperation Jackson is trying to build an alternative economy for the city’s majority-black residents...read more

Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing

The Surdna Foundation

Earlier this year, the Surdna Foundation announced the creation of a $100 million impact investment fund (roughly 10 percent of their portfolio) in order to align their investment practices with their grant making activities. This new guide distills the lessons learned in establishing the fund, including their research on the spectrum of mission investment tools available to philanthropy, detailed information on their internal processes and timeline, and discussion of key milestones and challenges.

I Can’t Keep Silent about this Anymore: Women and Capital Raising

I started helping mission-driven entrepreneurs raise capital almost ten years ago.  My clients have collectively raised almost $20 million, with amounts ranging from $150,000 to $4 million.

About two years ago, I was compiling a list of the clients that I had helped to raise money.  At that time, I could honestly say that every client that I had worked through the whole process with (i.e. if I excluded those that changed their minds and didn’t complete the process) had met their fundraising goals.  Some took longer than others, but all of them had eventually reached their goals. Read more about I Can’t Keep Silent about this Anymore: Women and Capital Raising...

Gary Community Investments

Based in Denver, Gary Community Investments is a certified B corporation that provides philanthropic, near market-rate, and market-rate capital to efforts that support Colorado’s low-income children and families.  Investments made in 2016 include a $500,000 PRI in support of Denver’s Social Impact Bond Program, which provides permanent housing and supportive services to 250 chronically homeless individuals.  Gary Community Investments aims to invest all of its financial assets into community and business vehicles focused on improving the lives of Denver children and families by 2035.

Measuring the "Impact" in Impact Investing

Ivy So and Alina Staskevicius

The aim of this study was to deepen the understanding of the specific practices and methodologies that established impact investors are using to measure the social impact generated by their investments, and to analyze the conditions under which each measurement method is most relevant. The intended audience for our analysis is impact investors themselves, as well as social sector organizations, traditional funders, and evaluators. 

Network Evaluation in Practice: Approaches and Applications

Madeleine Taylor Ph.D., Anne Whatley M.S. and Julia Coffman M.S.
This article describes the evaluation framework and its three pillars of network assessment: network connectivity, network health, and network results. 

Social Impact Bonds: A promising tool for bringing private dollars to programs that create opportunity for low-income families

John Griffith and Victoria Shire

This issue brief takes a close look at two SIB initiatives currently in the development phase, each with Enterprise’s support. One initiative aims to reduce chronic homelessness in Denver, while the other aims to reduce the number of days homeless children stay in foster care in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The brief also looks at federal policy initiatives underway to promote SIBs and similar “pay-for-success” initiatives, including bipartisan legislation that would create a new fund at the Department of the Treasury to support SIB contracts. 

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016

Lucy Bernholz

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016 is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit. Each year, the Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year. 

A Checkup on PRIs

Margaret Laws

For one leading health funder, program-related investments promise to help underserved populations.

Risk, Return and Impact: Understanding Diversification and Performance Within an Impact Investing Portfolio

Jed Emerson

This brief offers impact investors a review of key considerations concerning risk, return and impact when constructing an impact portfolio. Various types of risk are identified along with a review of the “New Efficient Frontier” and the types of impact investing options that may be arrayed across a range of financial, social and environmental returns. 

Solutions for Impact Investors: From Strategy to Implementation

Steven Godeke and Raúl Pomares

Solutions for Impact Investors: From Strategy to Implementation aims to increase the rigor with which impact investors frame their investment decisions and demonstrate the integration of impact investing across asset classes. In conjunction with the team of academics and practitioners who have produced this monograph, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors highlights some of the areas in which behavioral economics and innovative organizational and legal structures can be applied to the discipline of impact investing. By describing best practices in transparency, disclosure and rigorous decision- making, we also hope to bridge the divide between traditional and social purpose investing. 

Making Big Bets for Social Change

William Foster, Gail Perreault, Alison Powell and Chris Addy

Why does such a large gap exist between what donors say they would like to achieve with their philanthropy and where they actually make their biggest bets? And how can we close it?

When Can Impact Investing Create Real Impact?

Paul Brest and Kelly Born

Although it is possible for impact investors to achieve social impact along with market rate returns, it’s not easy to do and doesn’t happen nearly as often as many boosters would have you believe. 

Strategies for Financing the Inclusive Economy

Marjorie Kelly, Violeta Duncan and Steve Dubb

How can impact investors, family foundations, and financial institutions strategically leverage  their investments toward solutions that help stem and reverse rising economic inequality? This new report from The Democracy Collaborative explores ways in which impact investors can  help build an inclusive economy by accelerating  the growth of broad-based ownership models—worker cooperatives, social enterprises, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), hybrid  enterprises, and municipal enterprise.

Community Foundations Pursue Impact Investments to Build Local Economies

Catherine Covington
The Chronicle of Philanthropy

In this issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, our Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly was featured for her work on equitable, sustainable community development and innovations in the community wealth building field.

Zevin Asset Management, LLC

Zevin Asset Management, LLC is an employee-owned socially responsible investment firm established in 1997. The firm manages accounts for endowments, foundations, religious institutions, and families. Zevin Asset Management was built to perpetuate the unique investment and social investing approaches pioneered by Robert Zevin, who started what is now Walden Asset Management in 1975, making it the first explicit socially responsible unit in any bank. Read more about Zevin Asset Management, LLC...