The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) has engaged in several field-building initiatives aimed at elevating the philanthropic sector’s understanding of how and where to use impact investing. Today, we are delighted to announce the launch of a new initiative, Invest for Better, which seeks to mobilize women to invest their personal, philanthropic, and institutional capital for good. Invest for Better aims to make it easier for women to take action and invest with purpose by addressing their need for information, inspiration, community, and support.
Developed in collaboration with dozens of investors, donors, and field leaders, including Mission Throttle, Mission Investors Exchange, and the Case Foundation, Invest for Better features a robust set of resources, including tools to help women figure out what’s currently in their portfolios, ideas for how to persuade other stakeholders that impact investing is a good idea, and ways to find a financial advisor with impact investing know-how. The campaign provides concrete steps any woman can pursue to become an impact investor – everything from investing in a community development financial institution to buying a green bond to becoming an angel investor – and invites women to pledge to take action. It also connects women to impact investor networks and highlights the stories of real women who are putting their money to work by investing in what they believe in. Ultimately, we hope the site and campaign will galvanize more women at all income levels to pursue impact investing in a way that’s right for them.
TPI is committed to helping foundations, donors, and companies achieve their social impact goals through philanthropy as well as tools that go beyond philanthropic grants, including collaboration, advocacy, and impact investing. In recent years, we have seen more clients take concrete action steps towards using their endowment and investment assets for social change. Consider the donor who provided a cash-flow line of credit to their non-profit partner who has predictable but uneven revenue flows. Or the foundation focused on sustainable agriculture that bought a farm and leases the property to organic farmers. Or the environmental donor who invests some of her donor-advised fund in venture capital breakthrough energy solutions. Those who travel this path are uncovering promising opportunities to expand the amount of capital available for good and increase their impact through market-based solutions.
We know that women, who already exercise significant influence over this country’s philanthropy (which we have written about for years on this blog), are poised to do the same for investment assets in the very near future.
- Women are expected to control $22 trillion of American capital in 2020, yet currently only 13% of women take responsibility for household investing.
- Every research study shows that women are overwhelmingly interested in investing with their values, but few are acting on that interest.
- The aspiration gap between women’s interest in socially responsible and impact investment vs. their engagement in it is likely due to the following distinctive hurdles: little time spent on investing, lack of confidence in investment knowledge, widespread underinvestment, and a traditional advisor ecosystem that is not geared towards women’s interest in values-based goal setting.
Strategic philanthropy is a powerful engine for making positive social and environmental change. But we know it is not enough to solve all of the world’s needs. If financial investors dedicated just a small portion of their investible assets to social good, imagine what would be possible. Invest for Better seeks to contribute to this vision.
Share your experience and follow the conversation at #investforbetter.
Invest for Better is a project of The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI). If you’d like to learn more about the campaign, please contact Jennifer Montone at jmontone [at] tpi.org. Women who may be interested in taking impact investing to the next level can also contact Ellen Remmer directly at eremmer [at] tpi.org.