October 2020 | Field News & Resources
This page features this month's highlights, announcements, resources, and general news related to advancements in the impact investing field.
- Impact Alpha’s weekly Briefing podcast featured two episodes in October hosted by MIE’s Monique Aiken:
- On October 9, Aiken shared updates from the week in impact investing, recapped a conversation on Reconstruction with Anne Price of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, and shared sound bites from the SOCAP Stakeholder Series discussion she moderated with Sir. Ronald Cohen of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, Sherece West-Scantlebury of Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and Antony Bugg-Levine of Nonprofit Finance Fund.
- On October 23, Amy Cortese joined Aiken to discuss highlights from SOCAP, the week’s Agents of Impact call on food system resilience in the face of climate change and COVID, and voters.
- At this year’s virtual SOCAP conference, impact leaders reflected on the state of the field, the need for moral leadership, the future of capitalism, and more in a world much changed, Impact Alpha reports.
- The Rockefeller Foundation will commit $1 billion over the next three years to catalyze a more inclusive, green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The California Primary Care Association and Capital Impact Partners launched the $25 million CPCA COVID Response Loan Fund to provide flexible financing for Community Health Centers. Fund investors include MIE Members The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, The Alliance Healthcare Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Richard W. Goldman Family Foundation, and UnitedHealth Group.
- Black Belt Foundation and Hope Credit Union teamed up to provide zero-interest loans to local governments in Alabama’s Black Belt. The loans unlocked $18.5 million in federal dollars allocated to the region through the CARES Act, which provided the funds on a reimbursement basis, Next City and GreenBiz report.
- The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance released a summary of its policy vision for the next Congress and Presidential term, urging the federal government to take steps to better enable impact investing in a green and just recovery, such as renewing and reforming community investment tax policies; modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act; and fortifying and scaling Community Development Finance Institutions.
- Across the U.S., new waves of place-based impact investing collaborations are tackling the challenges wrought by COVID-19 at the local level, Catherine Banat of RBC Global Asset Management and Debbie McKeon of San Diego Grantmakers write for Inside Philanthropy.
Advancing Racial Equity
- Illumen Capital closed its first fund with more than $85 million in committed capital, including investments from MIE members Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Weingart Foundation, and The California Wellness Foundation.
- Kesha Cash’s Impact America Fund closed a $55 million venture capital vehicle that will invest in early-stage startups working on solutions for the world’s overlooked and underserved. The close marks one of the largest funds ever raised by a sole Black female general partner.
- Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s innovative Impact Investment Loan program funded an affordable housing project, childcare center and small business accelerator in the city’s Edison neighborhood.
- David Swensen, investment chief of Yale University’s $31.2 billion endowment, put dozens of money managers on notice about diversity.
- Jaimie Mayer, chair of Nathan Cummings Foundation, shares how her grandmother’s memory inspired her to clarify the family foundation’s mission to confront injustice and racial inequity, via The National Center for Family Philanthropy.
- Erika Seth Davies shares insights in Forbes on how the financial industry can combat racism. Seth Davies is a Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation fellow, founder of the Racial Equity Asset Lab, and author.
Impact Investing Strategies
- This op-ed calls on foundations to increase giving in 2021, despite decreased revenue, to tackle the surging need created by a number of global crises. Phil Buchanan of the Center for Effective Philanthropy and David Salem of The Investment Fund for Foundations write in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
- Harvey Koh, managing director at FSG, urges impact investors to embrace catalytic capital in support of the unproven funds, enterprises, and innovations that address critical needs around the globe, via the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
- This Sorenson Impact Center piece explores some of the factors contributing to the mismatch between traditional evaluation methodologies and impact investing and offers strategies for more robust impact measurement. It was featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
- Philanthropy News Digest speaks with Mari Kuraishi about the impact of crowdfunding on the global development landscape, her work at Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and what she has learned about the social sector's response to urgent problems.
- This Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation report analyzes the flow of local capital in Washtenaw County, Michigan, and identifies opportunities for impact investing that can help rectify historic inequities.
- The Colorado Health Foundation shares its findings following an honest internal assessment of its successes and shortfalls in centering equity in the Foundation's learning and evaluation practices.
- The Russell Family Foundation announces impact investments totaling $14.5 million and nearly $550,000 in grants to 51 local organizations for COVID-19 relief, food insecurity, youth homelessness, and neighborhood improvement.