Boston, MA (September 12, 2019) – While several initiatives have sprung up in recent years to address the need for impact investor education, none have concentrated specifically on helping women bridge the aspiration gap between interest and action. Invest for Better, a project of The Philanthropic Initiative, is a nonprofit campaign on a mission to help women demystify impact investing, take control of their capital, and mobilize their money for good. Knowing that women often prefer to learn from and with peers, the initiative created a model for Invest for Better Circles – communities of women investors that help both novice and experienced investors overcome barriers, increase their knowledge, and hold each other accountable for moving money into purposeful investments. Launched by a group of ecosystem pioneers and investors as an open-source, non-transactional initiative, their new Invest for Better Circle Toolkit is aimed at seeding and supporting such communities around the world.
“If I had been able to join an Invest for Better Circle at the beginning of my journey, I would have stepped up much sooner and more confidently to invest my own assets for good,” says Ellen Remmer, Senior Partner at The Philanthropic Initiative, President of the Remmer Family Foundation, and Invest for Better Champion. “With the Toolkit, my colleagues and I are passing along the knowledge we wish we’d had from the start, along with what we continue to learn from our diverse Circles and leading experts about new and better ways to deepen impact.”
While most women report they want to invest financial assets in socially positive ways, they also cite numerous reasons for feeling stymied in efforts to do so. The causes vary, but include an opaque and confusing financial landscape, financial advisors untrained and inexperienced in impact investing, and a legacy of leaving investment decisions to their partners as women took on other time-intensive household tasks. With all these barriers present, many women simply don’t know what is possible or how to get started.
With the Invest for Better Circle Toolkit, women can create their own Circles alongside peers, or sponsoring institutions can launch and manage Circles among their memberships or clientele. The Toolkit includes guidelines on recruiting participants, sample agendas, reading lists, and worksheets for a six-session curriculum. Produced by The Philanthropic Initiative, underwritten by Bank of America, and with distribution sponsorship by Wetherby Asset Management and Athena Capital Advisors, the Toolkit will be freely available at www.investforbetter.org.
Since the launch of Invest for Better earlier this year, Remmer reports ten new Circles being developed in such diverse places as San Francisco, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, Colorado, Scotland, and the Caribbean. In October, the Invest for Better initiative will hold a webinar to help new or interested Circle leaders use the Toolkit, and intends to build a community of practice for sister Circles around the world. Information on that and other news can be found on LinkedIn and on Twitter @InvestforBetter.