To learn more about the movement, or get involved in your area, please get in touch with the lead contact in your country. The DivestInvest movement has grown thanks to a large range of civil society organizations who support investors to accelerate the transition in a variety of sectors. Keep up to date with the latest news and advice on how to DivestInvest. There's a lot going in the DivestInvest movement.
Please fill in the form to help us send the most relevant news and stories for you. Further reading Divest Invest Philanthropy. Contact us. Wallace Global Fund Ellen Dorsey. Waterloo Foundation Heather Stevens. Wermutham Family Assets Jochen Wermuth. Rethink-X Jamie Arbib. Country Lead To learn more about the movement, or get involved in your area, please get in touch with the lead contact in your country.
We're taking action. Ashden Helps Climate Pioneers Thrive. What we do and how we do it. What we do. Inspiring Climate Stories.
Free resources. Fair Cooling Fund In a warming world, one billion lack access to cooling. We're taking action. Ashden Helps Climate Pioneers Thrive. What we do and how we do it. What we do. Inspiring Climate Stories. Meet this year's winners. Download free resources. Get free resources. Fair Cooling Fund. Finance was flowing in the wrong direction — towards the causes of climate change rather than the solutions, so we began working with other funders on mapping the finance system.
At the same time, the trusts began supporting the Carbon Tracker Initiative which was working on the principle of stranded assets — that investors are funding the extraction of far more carbon in the form of fossil fuels than we can burn and still limit climate change.
Alongside this the trustees had questioned for many years whether their endowments supported their own values and philanthropic goals and decided to allocate a proportion of their endowments to impact investing. All these strands crystallised around fossil fuels. We wanted something that would create more incentive for politicians to do the right thing about climate change, bring other investors on board, and begin to redirect capital to where we know it is needed.
The DivestInvest movement met all of those requirements and brought together investors of all sizes and from all sectors — faith groups, universities, cities, pension funds, foundations — to publicly declare they do not want to be invested in fossil fuels. The trustees have been uncharacteristically forward in public in their position on this, and in reaching out to other investors.
There is a real challenge around how trusts and foundations use their investments to support — or not — their charitable work. We want legal clarity on this and have published an open letter with a coalition of charities asking the Charity Commission and the Attorney General to refer the charity investment law to a tribunal, in the hope of having an open public discussion as to how charities should discharge their responsibilities.
And there is so much more to do. We have 12 years to change our direction of travel to avoid the very worst of climate change. And even if we limit it to 1. We have the technology and we have the money, but we need more political mandate for that to happen. There is growing evidence of the social and environmental crises that we are facing, the growing inequality and social distress.
There's a lot going in the DivestInvest movement. Please fill in the form to help us send the most relevant news and stories for you. Further reading Divest Invest Philanthropy. Contact us. Wallace Global Fund Ellen Dorsey. Waterloo Foundation Heather Stevens. Wermutham Family Assets Jochen Wermuth. Rethink-X Jamie Arbib. Country Lead To learn more about the movement, or get involved in your area, please get in touch with the lead contact in your country.
Lars Jensen, Sustainable Energy Denmark. George Guensburg Austria. Cliona Sharkey, Trocaire Ireland. Allied Organizations The DivestInvest movement has grown thanks to a large range of civil society organizations who support investors to accelerate the transition in a variety of sectors. Socially responsible investment The most commonly recognised form of socially responsible investment is negative screening. Negative screening, like programme related investment, has a long history.
It can be traced back to early last century when religious institutions divested their portfolios of alcohol, gambling and tobacco stocks A number of foundations in the UK and US now engage in limited negative screening of investments. For example, some refuse to invest in arms companies or the tobacco industry. A small number of US foundations pioneered investment plus in the s.
Its development in the US has been influenced by a number of factors including: a general growth in interest in and awareness of profitable companies with social purposes, a well known example is the Body Shop; the development of ethical-pooled funds for example, funds investing in companies aiming to achieve sustainable development or develop environmentally friendly technologies; the maturity of community development finance with some CDFIs proving themselves capable of offering healthy returns.
The decline in the stock market also encouraged some trustees to consider adopting a longer term and more diversified investment strategy including investment plus. Since the late s the number of US foundations engaged in shareholder action has increased — albeit from an extremely small base Some US foundations now consider that they have a fiduciary duty to vote on shareholder resolutions commonly called proxy voting.
Some US foundations have also begun to see shareholder 14 — See note 6. For example, it committed funding to a community development venture fund and introduced a community investment tax credit. See Annex 1 for a survey of recent UK government initiatives aimed at encouraging social investment. Between and 12 additional foundations became involved. Between and 26 new foundations entered the field. This compares with 7 who voted their shares, 6 who directly engaged with companies and 4 who positively screened their investments.
It is believed that relatively few UK based foundations engage in shareholder action Foundations, along with other institutional investors, have the voting power to exercise oversight of corporate conduct. Examples and case studies The work of some UK foundations which are pioneers in social investment is described in the next section.
Section 5 provide examples of US foundations acknowledged as leaders in the field. While US foundations consider that they have significantly more work to do to develop a robust knowledge base on approaches to social investment see the box below — there is greater and longer experience in the US on which to draw.
Neighbourhood Funders Group The Neighbourhood Funders Group is a US based trade association for foundations and other philanthropic organisations supporting community-based efforts to improve economic and social conditions in low-income communities. The Group is currently developing an initiative on programme related investment for a number of foundations including: Annie Casey; Ford; MacArthur; Fannie Mae, and Rockefeller.
It will develop a database of providers and consider how best to organise and deliver programme related investment. It will cover training for foundation staff and programme evaluation. UK examples — pioneering foundations This section provides examples of UK foundations pioneering social investment. All the UK foundations featured in this section have made programme related investments. Example 1: The Tudor Trust The Tudor Trust aims to help break cycles of disadvantage and dependency and to prevent people from being drawn into these cycles.
It funds in a number of priority areas including youth, older people, health, learning, housing, financial security and criminal justice. They recognise the need to be flexible and responsive. They endeavour to enable organisations to achieve their objectives; this includes helping them to move towards financial independence. The Trust has made programme related investments over a number of years. Over 75 loans most of them interest free have been made since , usually to assist in the purchase or refurbishment of properties.
Loan and underwriting facilities have also provided development and working capital. This has enabled, amongst other things, Development Trusts to build an asset base, housing associations to provide housing for people who are inappropriately housed and a number of charities to purchase their own premises.
In and equity-linked loans were made in partnership with a housing association to buy properties in East and South East London for letting at affordable rents. This was part of a package of measures to attract newly qualified teachers to work in these parts of London. When the need diminished the properties were re-valued and either sold back to the housing association or sold on the open market. This resulted in Tudor receiving not only the full repayment of the original loan but also a small surplus.
Recently the Trust has been investigating how to use its expendable endowment to provide a last resort underwriting facility held as a designated fund. The Trust applies socially responsible guidelines when deciding which shares to invest in. Current policy includes positive screening. Trustees invest in growth potential and good financial return companies which demonstrate responsible employment practices, a conscientious approach to corporate governance and companies which are moving towards socially sustainable economic activity for example, they are trying to reduce toxic omissions or are otherwise taking environmental issues seriously.
The Trust also uses negative screens. Specialist intermediaries in the UK In a publication called Lending Money: the issues for grantmaking trusts published in , Julia Unwin encouraged foundations to engage in social investment by supporting specialist intermediaries through grants or loans. The Social Investment Task Force report published in echoed this recommendation. It argued that voluntary organisations with the capacity to manage a loan and with revenue streams which could service repayments were being denied access to finance because mainstream banks did not understand voluntary sector funding models.
Investors in Society was designed to fill this gap. In Investors in Society became Charity Bank. Charity Bank is the first organisation in the UK with both charitable status and Financial Services Authority banking accreditation. Venturesome In CAF established Venturesome to provide mezzanine finance ie risk finance in the space between a grant and a loan. It concentrates on underwriting and unsecured lending but has also provided quasi-equity Its main market is charities but it has also participated in two social enterprise share issues.
Aston Reinvestment Trust Since , the Aston Reinvestment Trust ART has provided access to finance for small businesses and social enterprises in targeted areas of disadvantage in Birmingham. It lends at commercial interest rates. In foundations provided 7 per cent of CDFI funding. The majority of this financial aid is believed to take the form of grants rather than loans or equity Its current priorities include funding work which enables poor Londoners overcome discrimination, isolation and violence.
Ten years ago the Foundation invested in the development of a Resource Centre for voluntary organisations in Holloway in North London. The Centre rents serviced office space to voluntary organisations at 25 per cent below market rates and provides a venue for voluntary sector training and conferences. The Centre pays the Foundation a near commercial rent for the office and conference space and a commercial rent on the three shop fronts it has also acquired.
It also makes a substantial one-off contribution to the Foundation each year, based on its out-turn for the preceding year. The Resource Centre is a charitable subsidiary of the Foundation. The Foundation owns playing fields in Bellingham, a predominantly white, working class area in Lewisham.
Opened in April it has already made a significant contribution to the regeneration of the area. It has leased the property to Greenwich Leisure; this not-for-profit organisation will manage the Centre for a ten year period. Greenwich Leisure will share profits with the Foundation but not losses. Example 3: Northern Rock Foundation The primary aim of the Northern Rock Foundation is to help improve the condition of those disadvantaged in society.
Its loan scheme, launched in , is operated in collaboration with Charity Bank. Charity Bank undertakes due diligence checks on applicants for loans, undertakes monitoring and collects repayments. Foundations and social investment Interest rates are normally 1 or 2 per cent above the Bank of England base rate. The majority of loans are secured.
The fund will focus on alternative forms of financing including loans, equity and quasi equity. Futurebuilders will offer some grants but only as an element of a package containing a loan or in the form of a development grant to organisations not yet loan ready. It is a pilot programme to help test demand for loan finance in the voluntary sector. Charity Bank provides due diligence assessments on loan applications and collects repayments.
Interest rates range from 0 to 7 per cent. The Foundation will consider both secured and unsecured loans. So far loans have been made to individual charities and to intermediaries such as Venturesome and Portsmouth Savers Credit Union. The Foundation has, in addition, made a small number of programme related investments from its income or grants budget. It has three specific grants programmes supporting respectively voluntary sector development, international work and the arts.
This was converted from a loan to Investors in Society. They have merged to form the new LankellyChase Foundation. The Foundation is now considering both specifically how it should use these earmarked funds and more generally how it can use all its resources, both income and endowment, in pursuit of its charitable purposes.
It is perhaps unique among UK charitable foundations in considering investment plus. Example 7: Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts Members of the Sainsbury family have established a number of independent grantmaking trusts collectively known as the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. The Ashden Charitable Trust has made two programme related investments and has agreed a third.
Tropical Wholefoods is a fair trade company which purchases dried fruit and vegetables from small scale producers in the developing world. It builds partnerships with small businesses in Africa and Asia to provide them with improved access to expertise and markets. This loan enabled the Trust to avoid the issues that arise from holding equity and has enabled Tropical Wholefoods to grow its business substantially and thereby work with significantly more individuals and entrepreneurs in developing countries.
US case studies — pushing the boundaries The case studies in this section illustrate how some US foundations are leading in developing particular forms of social investment. Case study 1: The Hutton Foundation Programme related investment and investment plus in property The Hutton Foundation provides grants for education, health and community initiatives. These have enabled voluntary organisations to purchase buildings, making an important contribution to their sustainability the foundation is based in Santa Barbara in California and local rents are escalating.
All their loans have been paid when due; they are offered over five to seven years with an average rate of return of 4. The Hutton Foundation describes its programme related investment initiative as very simple to develop and easy to run. It uses the agreement developed for its first programme related investment as its standard documentation. It has a good relationship with a title company and a skilled attorney. It generally becomes involved near the end of the process when it is clear that the project will be viable.
It concluded that it was not in the best interests of the smallest voluntary organisation to own its own buildings believing they would benefit from shared facilities including meeting and conference rooms. Case Study 2: The Ford Foundation Programme related investment and shareholder action The Ford Foundation now restricts its programme related investments to organisations in receipt of a grant, previous grantees or organisations in the process of becoming grantees.
It does this for various reasons. Firstly, to manage the huge demand for programme related investment. Secondly, because a grant relationship means it can build the capacity of the organisation to manage the loan — this makes repayment much more likely. Thirdly, programme officers have come to regard loan or equity finance as a means of enabling organisations to better achieve programme objectives.
The Ford Foundation makes two main types of programme related investments. It provides working capital for social businesses and capital to community development finance institutions for onward lending. Generally, only 1 per cent interest is charged and the capital is patient ie the loan term is ten years or more and repayment may not start until seven years have expired.
The low interest rate enables onward lenders to cover their administrative expenses and provide loans at below market rates. The fund is structured so that a minimum of sixty five per cent of its lending has a maturity of ten years or less and a maximum of 35 per cent of the fund is in equity or loans with a maturity greater than ten years. The Ford Foundation makes provision for 15 per cent losses. Its historic loss rate over the thirty six years of the fund's operation is a little more than this, because of difficulties in the early years see page 11 for an explanation.
Supporting new social businesses is risky because generally they are not diversified and a market may not exist or may only be temporary. The Ford Foundation recently reviewed its programme related investment initiative. It identified a greater complexity in the deals it is being asked to participate in because borrowers have become more sophisticated.
It is also more frequently being asked to provide subordinated loans see the box below to leverage private sector financing as well as support for more speculative ventures generally social businesses without a proven market niche. The Ford Foundation has regularly voted its proxies for the last thirty years. The Foundation has developed guidelines for voting on a wide variety of social and corporate governance issues.
Ford supplements staff advice on investment decisions with input from commercial proxy research services. It manages the process internally. Equity and quasi equity Foundations tend to follow a particular trajectory when they develop programme related investment initiatives. They often start by offering senior loans they are first in the line of creditors. As they become more confident and as they see the benefits of loan finance they tend to offer subordinated loans where they are second or third in the line of creditors or they offer loan guarantees.
The next stage tends to be to offer quasi equity or equity. Quasi equity means that the funder takes a financial stake in the venture. So for example, in return for providing the working capital for the development of a new piece of software the funder might receive a percentage commission on each sale.
In the UK both Venturesome and Futurebuilders have taken this form of quasi equity. Taking equity is generally regarded as more problematic than providing straight loan finance. Firstly, the general rule in the UK is that charities can not offer equity — they are public benefit organisations without shareholders.
However, foundations can take equity in non charitable voluntary organisations offering shares and private sector businesses where doing so enables the foundation to advance its charitable purposes. Secondly, equity implies a long term commitment — it may be difficult to realise the value of an equity investment.
Case Study 3: The Cooperative Assistance Fund Programme related investment In John Simon President of the Taconic Foundation concluded that access to debt and equity was a major barrier to economic development efforts in minority and low-income communities. Over the nearly thirty years since its formation the Fund has tried a number of different approaches to programme related investment.
However, it identifies some of its most successful investments as those made to specialist intermediaries. This is because such organisations are better equipped than the Fund to identify investment opportunities in their market areas, monitor their investments and provide strategies and technical assistance when needed. Around twenty years ago the Fund developed the Cleveland Project. This project, which sought to support minority enterprise development in Cleveland, Ohio, was one of several attempts to mobilise investment capital at the local or regional level for minority ventures in geographically defined areas.
Similarly, the Fund developed a systematic deposit programme for community development credit unions which agreed to make commercial loans to minority and other small businesses in their communities. It has also supported specialist intermediaries, for example an investment fund dedicated to the birth and growth of minority-owned radio and television stations.
In all of these cases, the Fund sought to encourage capital support from mainstream lenders. The Fund is now exploring the possibility of providing lead support for a national fund aimed at creating a strong secondary market in community development investments. This fund would facilitate the purchase of these investments from onward debt and equity investors, thus improving their liquidity and enabling them to provide new capital to enterprises in disadvantaged communities. It has led the field in the US in developing investment plus but it also provides programme related investment and has commissioned its own screening methodology.
In the Foundation began an investigation of how its endowment could be used to support its charitable purposes in response to concern from trustees that it was not using its resources to maximum effect. At first, fixed assets aside, it found relatively few investment options that would generate both a market rate of return and were related to its charitable purposes. It therefore decided that it would become involved incrementally pursuing only the most attractive investment plus opportunities.
More recently, it has helped develop the sorts of products it aspires to invest in. As a start the Foundation made a few deposits in community development credit unions. It has invested in private equity funds supporting commercial real estate projects in low-income communities and financing for businesses that wish to relocate to them. Investment plus was the highest performing segment of its portfolio in the period from , until the equity markets rallied in It remains indistinguishable from many foundations at 65 per cent equity, 25 per cent fixed income and 10 per cent alternative investments.
Its total return of 21 per cent in placed it at or above the median for foundations and endowments in several investment surveys. The Heron Foundation commissioned Inovest to develop an index screening methodology for Russell companies. The Foundation is interested in levels of community investment and quality of employment practices. The study found that the companies which demonstrated superior performance on these issues outperformed the index. The Heron Foundation is considering developing a portfolio of these companies as a separate bond account that others could invest in.
Case study 5: The Nathan Cummings Foundation Shareholder action The Nathan Cummings Foundation seeks to build a socially and economically just society that values and protects the ecological balance for future generations; promotes humane healthcare; and fosters arts and culture that enriches communities. It does not provide programme related investment or screen its investments.
It considered these approaches and decided they would be too administratively complex and therefore expensive to implement. It decided instead to engage in shareholder action to: positively influence corporate governance; deal with transparency issues, for example the reporting of environmental impacts and address negative effect of corporates on health and the environment see the box below for an example.
It works in collaboration with other voluntary organisations and pension funds, particularly the big public sector pension funds sharing resources for research and administration. It asked the management to prepare a report describing the environmental impacts of its hog production operations. Smithfield will soon release an environmental impact report. The investment manager who bought this stock for us [Smithfield] may have found it an attractive investment for the near term but we question the long term viability of a business model with such negative impacts.
Case study 6: The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation Negative screening, investment plus and shareholder action The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation provides funding for environmental and reproductive rights work. Prior to the Foundation had a very traditional investment portfolio. This changed as individuals with broader investment experience were invited onto the Board. One new board member was a committed environmentalist and had venture capital experience.
He helped to craft a new investment policy so that 10 per cent of the portfolio would comprise alternative investments including venture capital. On this basis the Foundation invested in environmentally sustainable community focused companies.
The equity it took in Stonyfield Farms, an organic farm produce company, generated an excellent return the company was eventually bought by Danone. Other ventures including Deja Shoes, a recycled shoes and organic clothing company, were less successful. In the Foundation decided to pursue this form of investment through pooled venture capital funds. The Noyes Foundation has a policy on screening its investments.
The first board of the Foundation, the family members, agreed that they did not want to own shares in tobacco companies and nuclear power. Its current policy sets out exclusionary screens and inclusionary screens related to the mission of the Foundation. For example, it wishes to exclude companies that are significant producers of synthetic agricultural chemicals such as pesticides and fertilisers and to include companies that produce, distribute or sell organic food.
Trustees have. They invest in Domini Social Investing — a screened fund. Where they are investing in unscreened funds they have discussions with the fund managers about any investments that might violate their policy. The Foundation manages proxy voting on unscreened funds in-house.
On average it votes of these each year. It also writes to and holds meetings with companies in which it has investments to discuss issues of concern. Noyes has concluded that the financial risk in mission-related25 investing is no different from the risk inherent in any asset class.
Given the large universe of publicly traded stocks and bonds, a skilled money manager who applies mission related screens is as likely to achieve his benchmark goals over time as a manager who has no screens. Proxy voting and investment managers Fund managers are obliged to vote customer proxies as part of their management service. A UK expert referred to the difficulty of asking fund managers to undertake proxy voting in line with the policy of a particular foundation. They often have the funds of numerous clients invested in a single company.
Some investment managers however, contract with specialist companies who vote their proxies in a socially responsible way. Foundations who use managers with such contracts can request that the manager invests the shares in their accounts through this service. Some US foundations vote their own proxies — see case studies 2 and 6 in this section. Case study 7: The Calvert Social Investment Foundation Providing services to foundations and developing social investment products The Calvert Social Investment Foundation was set up to popularise community investing both amongst the general public and foundations.
Raising funds from the general public It has no endowment and sells community investment notes to finance its lending. Providing programme related investment The Foundation has been providing programme related investments for ten years. It supports organisations with a good track record, in which other financial institutions have demonstrated confidence.
It generally asks for 4 per cent interest. This is seen as expensive finance so organisations in difficulty generally want to repay while they have some liquidity. Each prospective loan is given a risk score and this determines monitoring levels.
Supporting foundations For a fee the Foundation provides expert services to foundations providing programme related investment. For example, it undertakes due diligence checks and monitors loan repayments undertaking this work for some of the largest US foundations including MacArthur. It matches the contributions of these smaller foundations.
The pros and cons of different approaches The examples and case studies provided in the last two sections illustrate that foundations with an interest in social investment often adopt a pick and mix approach. They may provide programme related investment to individual organisations or to specialist intermediaries - often they will do both.
They may deploy investment plus and make programme related investments. Some develop an integrated approach combining programme related and investment plus, wider investment screening and shareholder action. This section considers each of the different approaches to social investment — their pros and cons and critical success factors. Foundations in the US report that they can give larger programme related investments than grants.
They also suggest that provision of loan finance deepens the relationship between the foundation and the recipient because generally it is a longer term commitment and requires greater scrutiny of organisational capacity. One UK foundation reported that this presented difficulties.
Foundations in the UK generally regard themselves as arms length funders ie they do not consider it appropriate to become too involved in the management and governance of organisations. Effective management of a loan or equity arrangement may require a more interventionist approach. Successful programme related investment initiatives tend to have the following characteristics: lending is to organisations rather than individuals; either the organisation receiving the finance or the sector in which it is working is well known to the foundation; foundations make clear at the outset whether or not they are prepared to convert loans into grants and in what circumstances; foundations do not attempt to do all the work themselves but engage specialist agencies see examples 3 and 4 in section 4 and case study 7 in the previous section to undertake due diligence checks, monitoring and receipt of payments on their behalf; programme related investments form part of a more comprehensive package of support including grant funding and support and assistance with capacity building.
Programme related investment opportunities come in many forms and some are riskier than others. Some foundations have decided to specialise in flavours of programme related investment where risks are limited either because of the nature of the investment or the use of intermediaries see the first case study in the previous section and examples 3 and 4 in section 4.
Vol 3. Programme related investment helps voluntary organisations Programme related investment can take the form of both capital and revenue finance. It can help voluntary organisations in a number of ways: Pre-funding of fundraising — sometimes voluntary organisations want to take advantage of a particular offer, for example a fixed contract price for building work before they have raised sufficient funds to cover the cost.
A loan enables them to take advantage of the offer. Provision of working capital — an organisation may have secured funding but may have to wait to receive it for example, payment terms are quarterly in arrears. Working capital underpins cash flow in the short term. Provision of development capital — development capital enables organisations to invest in training or new facilities and equipment. Often this investment enables organisations to develop income streams which secure their viability over the medium to long term.
Provide leverage — through loans or loan guarantees — helping organisations access greater sums of money or finance on better terms, often from mainstream banks. For example, if an applicant for a loan receives a programme related investment from a foundation this can help persuade a bank that the risk of default is reduced. Maintaining liquidity — some US foundations are working to develop secondary markets in loan finance.
Examples: JJ Charitable Trust Merlin provides medical relief and health care for people caught up in natural disasters, conflict, epidemics and health system collapse worldwide. Over the last few years the organisation has responded to a number of emergencies including those in Iran, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It helps more than 15 million people annually in up to 20 countries. The loan provides interest free, working capital to enable the organisation to respond swiftly to emergencies without causing undue pressure on its finances. Merlin is funded by grants from statutory sources which are paid in arrears. Without the loan, which has been recycled many times, the organisation would have to pay high bank charges. Offenders work voluntarily to provide goods and services for the benefit of other people.
Offenders gain skills and qualifications that help them to secure a job on release, and to lead law-abiding and constructive lives. IOT makes an important contribution to the criminal justice system in the UK, both through its direct work and indirectly through advocacy. Difficulties with a major contract had led to a funding crisis. Venturesome and the Director agreed that the charity required both development capital to underpin reserves and working capital to assist cash flows.
The approach has the same general advantages and disadvantages set out above. It also enables foundations to: provide larger amounts of capital to disadvantaged areas or areas of activity; reduce the transaction costs associated with loans or the purchase of equity ie it would be expensive in both time and money for a foundation to develop all the necessary skills in house; mitigate the risk of investing capital direct into particular communities or areas of activity.
As a global firm, Big Path Capital is advancing a sustainable economy connecting mission-driven companies and fund managers with mission-aligned investors. TRF achieves its mission through investing, housing development as well as data and analytical services. Ellevest is a transformative financial technology company created to help women achieve their financial potential through modern, low-cost investing, with a beautifully designed digital platform backed by a unique investing approach.
From a gender-smart investing algorithm for digital-only customers to bespoke portfolios for private wealth clients, Ellevest also provides the option to invest for impact and in other women. Acumen also works to build a global community of emerging leaders that believe in creating a more inclusive world through financial and operational expertise combined with moral imagination. Fig changes the way people with bad credit experience banking.
They offer emergency loans and financial stability products to get individuals through unpredictable financial challenges. Fig stands behind a commitment to offer financial products to customers in a socially responsible way. Their loans provide customers with the most affordable product when they need it most. Instead the company looks at your ability to repay the loan based on account age, income, and existing or previous loans.
The aim is to work with entrepreneurs who seek to invent new market categories or transform and disrupt existing ones. Adobe Capital is a social impact investing fund focused on triple bottom line businesses that drive social and environmental impact with innovative, profitable and scale-able models. They provide financing and strategic support for the development of success cases.
Adobe Capital invests in Mexican companies with fewer than 50 employees, with less than 5,, USD in sales and strong growth potential. Larger companies may be analyzed in specific cases. Adobe Capital seeks investments that generate economic, social and environmental benefits, i. Adobe Capital promotes the growth of the impact investment sector by demonstrating that small investments in social and environmental SGBs can be made in an efficient and profitable manner.
The Ecosystem Integrity Fund is focused on identifying promising solutions to key threats to the ecosystem, from the perspective of both investment value and environmental benefit. The partners have the diverse and complementary skills and backgrounds needed to invest in clean technology enterprises, platforms, projects, and project developers.
Together, the partners have expertise in commercial finance, investment evaluation, and research consulting across a wide array of sectors related to clean technology and natural resources. Beyond investment management skills and clean technology expertise, the team has a robust network of venture capitalists, family office investors, public corporations, entrepreneurs, research labs, technology specialists, and consultants that are active in environmental sustainability.
Across the developing world, the rural poor—approximately 75 percent of the 2. Most of these people depend on agriculture as their primary source of income. Without access to capital and viable markets for their crops, millions of small-scale farmers in the developing world are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Root Capital , a nonprofit social investment fund, grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing rural businesses.
Human Ventures is a business creation platform. The firm goes beyond the business model to build and invest in Model Businesses with ambitious founders who are innovating around Human Needs. By unlocking access to a powerful network of founders, investors and corporate partners, Human Ventures is creating a blueprint for the future of business to be built on purpose. The SDG Impact Fund develops sustainable financial resources to fulfill its mission, and to ensure the continuity of charitable organizations supported by our donors and their families.
Vital Capital is a leading social impact investment, private equity fund focused on improving the well-being of underserved sub-Saharan African communities while generating market rate returns for its investors. By systematically utilizing proprietary and industry standard impact metrics, rigorous financial underwriting and ongoing hands-on operational oversite, Vital is demonstrating the achievement of significant and tangible quality of life improvements for large local populations, while on-track for delivering risk-adjusted returns for its investors.
They manage mutual funds for individual and institutional investors who wish to integrate social and environmental standards into their investment decisions. When you invest with Domini, you as a shareholder are making an impact. As a shareholder you will invest in companies that are solving major issues such as global warming, sweatshop labor, and product safety. Revitalizing distressed communities. Bringing new voices to the table. Invest for your future while helping to build a world of peace and justice.
Global Partnerships is a nonprofit impact investor whose mission is to expand opportunity for people living in poverty. To date their work has impacted over 4. Their mission is to achieve human dignity in developing countries by promoting individual and collective economic activities. Alterfin aims to link people in the North willing to invest their money in a sensible way to organizations in the South that extend credit to local entrepreneurs and farmers who can use such a loan to build a better future.
The U. The Bridge Fund helps save the lives of vulnerable children by reaching them when every minute counts, buys time to secure better pricing and ensures a continuous supply of safe commodities from reliable manufacturers. One Acre Fund supplies smallholder farmers with the financing and training they need to grow their way out of hunger and poverty. Timely, accurate, relevant information is critical to free societies, enabling fuller participation in public life, holds the powerful to account and protects the rights of the individual.
Bamboo Capital Partners is an impact investing platform which provides innovative financing solutions to businesses in emerging markets serving the needs of low- and middle income populations, thus catalyzing lasting impact. We bridge the gap between seed and growth stage funding through a full suite of finance options — from debt to equity — which we activate unilaterally or through strategic partnerships.
The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund is the first global emerging markets fintech fund for the financially underserved. The Fund invests in innovative financial technology and services companies that promote financial inclusion for the two billion people around the world who lack access to savings accounts, checking, insurance, credit, and other basic financial services. Accion is striving to reach the nearly three billion people worldwide who still seek these crucial financial services.
In the area of investing, Accion provides equity, quasi-equity, and loan guarantees to help grow companies sustainably and support a financial ecosystem that will radically enhance the efficiency, reach, and scope of financial services at the base of the economic pyramid. Led by a deep team with more than years of investing, startup, and consulting experience, SustainVC has built a year track record of demonstrated, measurable impact as well as proven financial returns.
Farmland LP is a U. We specialize in enhancing soil fertility and productivity through science-based livestock and crop rotations. Through our expertise in agriculture, soil biology, real estate, and farm management, we have forged a new model for how farmland is owned and managed.
Our model benefits farmers, investors, the environment, and consumers. Our investors benefit from the security of owning farmland while participating in the growth and profitability of local, Organic food markets. Our fund intends to demonstrate that sustainable agriculture at-scale is more profitable today than chemical-dependent commodity agriculture. CRF fills a gap in community development funding by bringing a larger amount of capital to the communities that need it most.
This has a powerful impact, creating a huge ripple effect and improving more lives of disadvantaged people in distressed neighborhoods all across the country. We did this in recognition of the urgent need to deal with climate change as a global issue, and belief in the power of collaboration to increase resources available and build capacity within the sector. The work definitely had an impact, but it was very difficult to achieve significant change in the context of an unsupportive national policy.
Finance was flowing in the wrong direction — towards the causes of climate change rather than the solutions, so we began working with other funders on mapping the finance system. At the same time, the trusts began supporting the Carbon Tracker Initiative which was working on the principle of stranded assets — that investors are funding the extraction of far more carbon in the form of fossil fuels than we can burn and still limit climate change. Alongside this the trustees had questioned for many years whether their endowments supported their own values and philanthropic goals and decided to allocate a proportion of their endowments to impact investing.
All these strands crystallised around fossil fuels. We wanted something that would create more incentive for politicians to do the right thing about climate change, bring other investors on board, and begin to redirect capital to where we know it is needed. The DivestInvest movement met all of those requirements and brought together investors of all sizes and from all sectors — faith groups, universities, cities, pension funds, foundations — to publicly declare they do not want to be invested in fossil fuels.
The trustees have been uncharacteristically forward in public in their position on this, and in reaching out to other investors. There is a real challenge around how trusts and foundations use their investments to support — or not — their charitable work. We want legal clarity on this and have published an open letter with a coalition of charities asking the Charity Commission and the Attorney General to refer the charity investment law to a tribunal, in the hope of having an open public discussion as to how charities should discharge their responsibilities.
And there is so much more to do. We have 12 years to change our direction of travel to avoid the very worst of climate change. And even if we limit it to 1.
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