The global impact investing field has been expanding like never before so it is worth considering what impact investing’s further growth and mainstreaming could mean for philanthropy and foundations and the dynamic role they have long played. Informed by 40 years and more than $700 million of impact investing, the MacArthur Foundation sees three main ways that philanthropy should continue to engage.
Impact investing has found a foothold in donor advised funds. From affluent individuals and families to community and corporate foundations, donors are looking at the investment side of their philanthropic capital and investing charitable assets in ways that provide immediate benefit to those who need it most. The $160 billion in DAF assets represents a pool of patient capital and an ideal source of catalytic capital.
Should a private foundation be more than a private investment company that uses some of its excess cash flow for charitable purposes? This was a question pondered by the Heron Foundation’s Board of Directors as they considered how best to use the Foundation’s assets to promote its mission of helping people and communities help themselves. And for the last 10 years, Heron has invested 100 percent of our assets for our mission.
Since 2008, in response to expanding social and racial inequities across the United States, the Surdna Foundation has worked to foster sustainable communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, inclusive economies, and thriving cultures. These pillars – environment, economic opportunity, and culture – form the backbone of a more fair and just society for all.