September/October 2022 | Field News and Resources
This page features this month's highlights, announcements, resources, and general news related to advancements in the impact investing field.
- The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) announced a new Corporate Impact Investing Initiative with inaugural members PayPal, Visa Foundation, and the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good. The aim of the initiative is to help companies better deliver on their social and environmental goals and commitments, while also achieving shareholder and business objectives, by connecting them with a new set of tools and resources.
- Impact investing was on the agenda for multiple events during this year’s United Nations General Assembly, including throughout the first morning of the two-day Clinton Global Initiative conference in September. Making its return after a six-year absence. The CGI event was the scene for multiple announcements, including Water.org’s plans to use $50 million in philanthropic money to create a billion-dollar investment portfolio and Israeli-based OurCrowd’s launch of a $200 million Global Health Equity Fund.
- The first project to be completed through the Detroit Housing for Future Fund (DHFF) is open. The redevelopment of The Charlotte turned the previously abandoned 1923-built, three-story apartment building into 28 quality affordable housing units. The DHFF is a private investment fund aimed at directing $75 million in capital to affordable housing in Detroit, and launched in 2020 with an initial capitalization of $48 million, anchored by a $15 million commitment from JPMorgan Chase and a $10 million guarantee from The Kresge Foundation.
- The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, which was funded with proceeds from RJ Reynolds Company, will no longer invest in tobacco and will also revise its grantmaking strategies to focus on health equity. The change comes as the trust takes a critical look at the source of the assets that continue to fund its philanthropy in the Winston-Salem community, acknowledging that the original bequest came from a fortune built on “tobacco and the sale and labor of enslaved Black people who worked in the tobacco fields.”
- California Wellness Foundation has made a $5 million guarantee commitment, and the Sierra Club Foundation has made a $1 million guarantee commitment, to the Community Guarantee Investment Pool (CGIP). CIGP is a financing tool launched in December 2019 by impact investing organizations to create a pooled commitment of financial guarantees for intermediaries in affordable housing, small business and climate finance.
- Houston, Texas is the scene for a public-private partnership designed to transform the city's Buffalo Bayou East community. A catalytic $100 million donation from the Kinder Foundation unlocks significant public funds from the City of Houston ($83.5 million), and Harris County ($24 million), as well as $14 million in federal housing tax credits. The ultimate vision is to inclusively integrate new parks, trails, housing, cultural destinations, and infrastructure improvements into Houston's Greater East End and Fifth Ward neighborhoods.
- The National Hemophilia Foundation has created Pathway to Cures (P2C), a venture philanthropy fund to invest in promising inheritable blood disorder therapies and technologies and help guide them through development. P2C will leverage philanthropic capital, expertise and resources to “de-risk” investments for private capital partners and build a portfolio of investments with the potential to make transformational impact. The fund is launching with $3.5 million of commitments; targeting $20 million.
- Kresge Foundation shared an independently produced progress report on its “25% by ‘25” initiative – a commitment to intentionally direct 25% of the foundation’s U.S. assets to be managed by diverse-owned firms by 2025. The nonprofit Management Leadership for Tomorrow finds that to date, 20% of Kresge’s U.S. assets under management, or $360 million, are invested with diverse-owned firms.
- New York City plans to sell about $1.4 billion of debt next month, in part to address its deepening housing crisis. The deal includes $400 million of taxable debt that will be the city’s first-ever issuance of bonds explicitly earmarked to tackle social issues.
- Barbados is the latest island nation to partner with The Nature Conservancy to launch Blue Bonds, where philanthropies provide catalytic funding to negotiate a so-called “debt for ocean deal.” In this case Barbados will direct some $50 million of relief from a debt restructuring to protect a 30% swath of ocean and marine ecosystems.