News & Updates

Lessons from The Kresge Foundation and The California Endowment on Impact Investing

Smart Growth California, a network of funders working together to build healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities throughout California, hosted a webinar with The California Endowment (TCE) and The Kresge Foundation to explore the challenges and opportunities for impact investing in low-income communities and other communities in which it is typically harder to deploy capital. In this blog, they summarize the webinar highlights and surfaced several commonalities between TCE and Kresge Foundation's approach to impact investing, noting that both foundations:

  • Recognized the significance of the organizational shift that taking on a new giving strategy would require and as such, brought key stakeholders to the table to ensure organizational buy-in. This included determining when and how to bring in outside support.
  • Defined their “bullseye”: the intersecting goals of mission alignment and market returns, as well as determined the level of flexibility they would allow in their efforts to hit the bullseye.
  • Identified the gaps in loan readiness of their partners and utilized a long-range strategy of coupling their loans with a full suite of grant support and technical assistance to lay the groundwork for investments.
  • Regularly evaluate their investments to continually assess the highest and best use of these new tools.


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