Tools & Resources

A Guide for Small-Staffed Foundations

Seeking to increase their philanthropic impact, many engaged foundations are turning to impact investing. The reason is clear: The field and practice of impact investing have matured—structures are in place, best practices have emerged, and opportunities have multiplied—enabling more foundations to use this powerful tool. Yet entering unfamiliar terrain can be intimidating, and foundations with few or no staff face unique challenges even as they enjoy unique opportunities.
Essentials of Impact Investing: A Guide for Small-Staffed Foundations addresses those challenges and highlights those opportunities. The guide demystifies the process of designing and implementing an effective impact investing strategy, offering advice, tools, and real-world examples of impact investing by foundations with few or no staff.
For experienced impact investors and newbies alike, the Guide demonstrates the wide breadth of approaches and purposes that impact investing programs accommodate. Just as importantly, it provides actionable advice and insights that foundations can use to build or enhance their impact investing efforts. The Guide includes 21 case examples featuring investments made by small-staffed foundations.
Small-staffed foundations can use the Guide as a resource to revisit current investment strategies or create new ones, to inspire board members to amplify its reach, to encourage others to co-invest with them, and more. Impact investing is a high-impact, big-play intervention: This Guide shows how foundations of all sizes can now tap into the resources, expertise, and capacity they need to become successful and skilled impact investors.


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