Main Street Plumbing Impact Finance Center (1)

Modeling the New Economy and Creating the Main Street Plumbing: ImpactPHL, CO Impact Days, John Moore and Clara Miller

MoHow to Build an Impact Investing Communitydeling the New Economy and Creating the Main Street Plumbing: ImpactPHL, CO Impact Days, John Moore and Clara Miller

I am sitting in the opening keynote by John Moore at ImpactPHL’s Total Impact Summit, who has given the most important and inspiring impact investing speeches I have ever heard. At last year’s Total Impact Summit, Clara Miller, President Emerita of the Heron Foundation, said that if we want to invest in local communities, we must build the plumbing ourselves. Impact Finance Center’s CO Impact Days was invited to serve on ImpactPHL’s Total Impact Summit’s Workshop: “Putting Your Money to Work in the Places You Care About the Most.” Our preparation call inspired us to reflect on how did we and how do you build a place-based impact investing system?

We want to hear from you. We’re starting our guide, “How to Create a Place-Based and Other Impact Investing System,” we delve deep into methodologies for fostering a robust impact investing environment within communities. The guide begins by mapping out community wealth, educating stakeholders, providing tools for effectively educating board members and community leaders, cultivating a knowledgeable investing community, engaging potential partners and enhancing investment strategies, developing investor accelerators and intermediary scans, and developing regional directories. This comprehensive approach aims to create a sustainable investing ecosystem and shift power dynamics, empowering local entities through strategic investment and education. 

Welcome to our deep dive into “How to Create a Place-Based and Other Impact Investing System,” a comprehensive guide designed to foster robust impact investing environments within communities like the Duluth Superior Area. This initiative aims not only to cultivate financial growth but also to empower local stakeholders through strategic investment and education. Let’s explore how each chapter of this guide can transform community investment practices:

Chapter 1: Mapping Community Wealth and Needs

Understanding the unique assets and gaps within a community is crucial. This chapter focuses on using demographic data and economic reports to create a clear map of local resources and needs, providing a solid foundation for targeted investments.

Chapter 2: Educating Key Stakeholders

Impact investing thrives on knowledge. We discuss strategies for educating board members and community leaders about impact investing, backed by successful case studies and a toolkit for developing adaptive educational programs.

Chapter 3: Crafting Effective Letters of Interest

Communication initiates opportunities. Learn to draft compelling letters that attract partners and clarify intentions, ensuring your community’s projects capture the right attention from the start.

Chapter 4: Building and Maintaining Peer Networks

Networking is invaluable. This chapter underscores the importance of connecting with peers and leveraging these relationships to enhance strategic execution and community investment outcomes.

Chapter 5: Modifying Investment Policy Statements

This chapter guides readers through the process of revising investment policies to better align with community-focused impact investing goals. It debates the merits of establishing a robust investment policy before hiring an investment advisor and argues for a strategic sequence that prioritizes community needs and goals.

Chapter 6: Implementing ‘Money Over Dinner’ Initiatives

Inspired by ‘Death Over Dinner’, this innovative approach to community engagement around financial topics is explored in this chapter. It provides a blueprint for organizing dinners that encourage open discussions about personal and community finances, investment strategies, and collective economic empowerment.

Chapter 7: Conducting Nonprofit Opportunity Scans

Focusing on nonprofits as a bridge between investors and philanthropists, this chapter details how to conduct scans to identify investment opportunities within the nonprofit sector. It discusses how to overcome the typical aversion to investment jargon and complexity, making the investment process accessible and appealing to a broader audience.

Chapter 8: Launching Investor Accelerators

This innovative approach helps identify and educate potential investors, using both real and simulated environments to enhance engagement and practical application of investment strategies.

Chapter 9: Intermediary Scans for Comprehensive Support

An essential component of a thriving impact investing ecosystem is a strong network of intermediaries. This chapter explores how to identify and engage these crucial actors, filling service gaps and enhancing the overall capabilities of the investment infrastructure.

Chapter 10: Strategic Planning for Impact Investing

Strategic planning unites all elements of impact investing under a cohesive vision. This chapter guides readers through developing comprehensive plans that incorporate the insights and structures discussed in previous chapters, ensuring that all efforts are aligned and synergistic.

Chapter 11: Who’s Who in Impact Investing

Just like the “40 Under 40” lists that spotlight up-and-coming leaders, this chapter introduces the “Who’s Who in Impact Investing” as a tool to map and recognize key community leaders in the field, from accountants to attorneys. This directory is designed to help identify and connect with the influential figures shaping the landscape of impact investing. It serves as a resource for understanding who is who in the ecosystem, facilitating networking, partnership opportunities, and collaborative efforts among impact investors and stakeholders.

Chapter 12: SEC Compliant Demo Days:

Focusing on environmental sustainability, this chapter details the organization of SEC-compliant demo days dedicated to climate-related initiatives, showcasing startups and companies that address environmental challenges.

Chapter 13: Organizing Impactful Educational Workshops and Events

This chapter focuses on the execution of educational and networking events that promote impact investing. It includes guidelines for organizing workshops, compliance events, and demo days that are designed to inform, engage, and inspire current and potential investors.

Chapter 14: Forming a Diverse Steering Committee

The formation and management of a steering committee are vital for guiding the impact investing initiative. This chapter discusses how to assemble a diverse group of leaders who can offer various perspectives and expertise, driving the project forward with shared commitment and insight.

Conclusion: Institutionalizing Impact Investing

We wrap up with strategic insights into how these efforts combine to not only establish but also expand and institutionalize impact investing within communities, aiming for long-term sustainability and equitable growth.

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