Programs & Events

Innovative Impact Investing in Education

Education is a high priority for many grantmakers but opportunities to use impact investing tools are less familiar to many foundation leaders today. Join Mission Investors Exchange, in coordination with the Global Impact Investing Network, for our first Impact Investing in Education webinar on Thursday, September 21, 2017.

Innovative Impact Investing in Education, featuring Beth Bray of the Walton Family Foundation, and Holiday Hart McKiernan of Lumina Foundation, addresses the following topics:

  • Why and how foundations with education missions embark on impact investing
  • How impact investing can evolve over time to better meet mission
  • How innovative models can be developed to accelerate change and leverage additional capital towards mission

This 90-minute live webinar will, through an interview-style format, take participants step by step through the impact journeys of the Walton Family Foundation and Lumina Foundation. The conversation will include two deep dives into (1) a cross-sector initiative facilitating efficient lending for charter school facilities and (2) a direct investment into an educational technology firm.

Additionally, Neeraj Aggarwal of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will provide reflections on national and global trends in education impact investing, as well as a preview into subsequent education webinars in the months ahead.

Participants will have the opportunity to pose questions, both during the registration process and taken during the live event. Speakers will offer specific advice to those interested in growing or expanding their philanthropic investing practice in education.

Subsequent webinars, facilitated by the GIIN BoP Basic Services Track in coordination with Mission Investors Exchange, will include an overview of the impact investing landscape and measurement state-of-play in the education sector, drawing from real transaction examples to inform the discussion. Mission Investors Exchange will round out the offerings with a webinar focused on the Investee experience working with foundation impact investors in education.


Beth Bray, Program Officer with the Walton Family Foundation

Beth Bray has served as a Program Officer with the Walton Family Foundation since 2013. In her role with the Foundation, Beth is responsible for managing K-12 investments in a number of Midwestern states and Indianapolis – one of WFF’s thirteen target cities. Beth also leads Foundation giving in the area of charter school facilities. In 2016, Beth led the creation of the Building Equity Initiative, a $250 million strategic investment fund established by the Walton family to help charter schools access affordable facilities.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Beth served as the Director of Charter Schools under Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and was responsible for the oversight of 24 public charter schools. Beth began her career in public policy as a researcher and lobbyist for The Children’s Bureau, a statewide children’s service agency, before joining the charter schools team under former Mayor Bart Peterson in 2007.

Beth holds a B.S. from Ball State University and a M.S.W. from Indiana University. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and young son.

Holiday Hart McKiernan, Executive VP, COO and General Counsel, Lumina Foundation

Holiday Hart McKiernan is executive vice president, chief operating officer and general counsel for Lumina Foundation. She oversees operations, legal affairs and board governance. She speaks frequently on legal, governance and policy issues concerning nonprofit organizations and higher education. Holly began her career practicing law concentrating on nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and prior to joining Lumina in 2003 was executive director and counsel for Alpha Chi Omega where she advised universities on approaches to high-risk student behavior.

She serves on the board of directors for DePauw University, Christian Theological Seminary, St. Vincent Foundation, Antioch University board of governors, the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy board of visitors, and the Council on Foundations’ public policy committee. She also serves on the Indy Chamber’s education and workforce council.

Holly received her B.A. from DePauw University and her J.D. from Indiana University.

Neeraj Aggarwal, Program Manager, Mission Investing, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Neeraj works alongside program teams in India and the U.S. in executing and managing mission investments at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The foundation has made catalytic mission investments across its India-based microfinance, health & education initiatives, and its US-based education and health initiatives.

Neeraj previously spent five years in investment banking in Australia. He has a Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Sydney and an MBA from London Business School.

Melanie Audette (Moderator), Senior Vice President, Mission Investors Exchange

As Senior Vice President, Member and Partner Engagement, Melanie plays a strategic leadership role at Mission Investors Exchange, helping to set organizational direction. She works with our members to identify and drive additional resources towards innovative impact investing opportunities, facilitates partnerships across the sector, and represents our network in an increasingly expanding field.

Melanie began her career as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service and subsequently managed family offices and a private foundation. She has deep experience in the nonprofit sector, having been in leadership roles in four membership associations and nine nonprofit organizations. Melanie is a founding member of the Impact Investing Committee for the Council of Michigan Foundations and is a member of the Impact Investing Committee at Seattle Foundation. She is a graduate of Indiana University and is based in Seattle.


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