February 2019 Newsletter
Mission, Money and Markets :
Back Office Lessons from the Impact Investing Front Lines
This month, Amy B. Robinson of The Kresge Foundation, shares with LOCUS her blog describing the Foundation's experience with impact investing in practice and the lessons learned along the way.
A foundation doesn’t decide to begin using its dollars in new ways lightly. That includes the decision to try impact investing alongside a grant making strategy.
Kresge made that transition about 10 years ago. It wasn’t always easy, but it was the right thing to do in terms of creating the most impact in communities around the U.S. There have been numerous lessons along the way, as we moved from doing our first, zero-interest program-related investments to human services organizations in 2008 to respond to the Great Recession… to today, when we’re deploying $350 million through a mix of loans, guarantees, mission-related investments and equity investments in partnership with all seven Kresge program and practice areas.
Each innovation of our Social Investment Practice has had back office implications, from staffing to portfolio management, from monitoring to payments. Foundations are used to working in a set way to make grants, and that’s perfectly fine. But working in new ways requires new processes, partners, flexibility and reflection. Here are the four key takeaways I share with other CFOs when asked how Kresge manages operations when it comes to impact investing.... –  Read More On Our Blog
Amy B. Robinson is The Kresge Foundation's Vice President, CFO, and Chief Administrative Officer. She is also the president of the Foundation Financial Officers Group. This post first appeared as an article on The Kresge Foundation's website .
An Emerging Philanthropic Tool to Benefit Greenville. On January14 th , Deb Markley and Travis Green led a presentation on Place-Based Impact Investing: An Emerging Philanthropic Tool to Benefit Greenville for the Greenville Partnership for Philanthropy as part of their regularly scheduled learning sessions. We dug deeper into the topic with a smaller group of foundations and community partners in the afternoon, with a focus on next steps to benefit Greenville. Watch for updates from Greenville in the future.
Using TOW Data to Spark Giving. In its January edition, the Chronicle of Philanthropy highlighted the Barry Community Foundation and its experience with Transfer of Wealth analysis. Through a 2007 wealth transfer report, the county learned that $860 million was expected to change hands between generations in the coming years. If 5 percent of that amount could be captured for philanthropy, it would yield a $43 million endowment. The discovery sparked conversation in the community, leading to the creation of a nonprofit hub in the community, new programs aimed at uplifting Barry County's children, and a philanthropic endowment that grew from $350 thousand to $35 million. Read More
Partner Spotlight
The Kansas Health Foundation invests in ideas for healthier people and stronger communities. To that end, they’ve launched a new initiative to build a stronger culture and experience with place-based impact investing among community foundations and strategic partners in Kansas. Along with the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group , LOCUS is excited to be a partner in this new work.
VCC: The Real Leaders 100. Real Leaders , Big Path Capital , and B Lab collaborated to assess and rank the “100 Top Impact Companies” of 2019. The group compiled the inaugural list in an edition of Real Leader’s business magazine, the first ranking of positive impact companies in North America. LOCUS' parent company Virginia Community Capital (VCC) was honored to be recognized as number 45 on the list of 100 amazing companies. See the full list here .
An Early Leader in Philanthropic Investing.  In a time when economic anxiety is a frequent reality in many rural areas, opportunities for growth in these communities are often starved of essential funds. By connecting impact capital to rural community projects, a socially conscious nonprofit investment firm, Intermountain Impact Investments (i3) , made a difference in bringing out the potential of rural impact investment ecosystems. The firm was an early leader in place-based investing.
As i3 closed its doors, it gifted its remaining assets to LOCUS and we are proud to carry the torch by continuing to provide services, solutions, and tools to promote local place-based impact investing initiatives.
News From the Field
VCC released video and highlights from its 2018 Learning Exchange. See the keynote conversation between Erika Poethig , Chief Innovation Officer of   Urban Institute , and  Bruce Katz , author of “ The New Localism ” and former Centennial Scholar at the   Brookings Institute , as they discussed place-based trends, or check out a highlight reel of the event.
US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment released its 2018 edition of “ Report on US Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends .” The biennial report presents extensive data on institutional asset owners, money management firms, and investment vehicles using sustainable investment strategies for community investing. See a summary of the report in Greenmoney Journal .
United Health Foundation published a report analyzing 35 measures used to describe health outcomes in the US, “ America’s Health Rankings Annual Report 2018 .“ The paper provides rural-specific information and statistics by residence, health status, and various health conditions. – Read More
The Association of American Medical Colleges published a blog describing a new movement where medical schools and teaching hospitals increasingly collaborate with local communities to invest in and improve social determinants of health outcomes. – Read More
Kaiser Permanente announced major initiatives to address social determinants of health outcomes by creating stable housing for vulnerable populations. – Read More
Greg Neichin of Ceniarth LLC wrote an article for ImpactAlpha shining a light on the family office and charitable foundation founded by Diane Isenberg to bring capital to underserved rural communities. In 2018, Ceniarth spent significant time assessing the landscape of rural CDFIs and executed its first CDFI investment, a $3 million secondary capital loan to  HOPE Credit Union , a Mississippi-based enterprise providing financial services to economically distressed parts of the American Mid South. – Read More
Place-focused foundations stepped up during the recent government shutdown. The Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Multipli Credit Union partnered to offer no-interest loans to affected federal workers in a seven-county region. – Read More At the same time, Northern Initiatives ,a CDFI, worked with a community bank to develop a new loan product for furloughed workers. – Read More
In a new case study, " How Chicago and Cook County Can Leverage Opportunity Zones for Community Benefit ," Urban Institute identifies tools that philanthropy can use to implement socially aligned Opportunity Zone investments. – Read More
Where You'll Find the LOCUS Team
Feb. 12-13 Washington, D.C.
Deb Markley will participate (Private Event).
Feb. 13-15 Lake Buena Vista, FL
Travis Green is a speaker.
Feb. 19-20 Austin, TX
Deb Markley and Travis Green will facilitate (Private Event).
March 5 Brooklyn, NY
Teri Lovelace is a speaker.
March 10-14 Petaluma, CA
Travis Green will participate (Private Event).
April 7 Auburn, AL
Teri Lovelace is a speaker.
April 28-May St. Helena Island, SC
Deb Markley will participate (Private Event).
April 29-May 1 Miami, FL
Teri Lovelace is a speaker.
June 13-14 Washington, DC
Members of the LOCUS team will participate.
July 15-17 Cleveland, OH
LOCUS team members will participate.
Oct. 27-29 Wichita, KS
Members of the LOCUS team will host a session during the event.
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LOCUS Capital, Inc. is a Registered Investment Advisor Firm. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where LOCUS Capital, Inc. and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. LOCUS Capital, Inc. and its representatives do not furnish investment advice or services through this website. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.