I spent my first six months at Impact Finance Center trying to articulate what we do. Here’s what I learned.
In the simplest words, we move money for good by helping people align their resources with their values.
We accomplish this mission through a myriad of initiatives that generally follow these steps:
We bring the world of impact investing to new people who we motivate to become impact investors.
We educate people about impact investing and help apply it to their individual situation and goals.
We help facilitate the movement of money to socially good initiatives by connecting impact investors to investment opportunities and by developing systems that allow money to flow to these opportunities.
In short, we identify, educate and activate impact investors.
Education is at our core. Whether we are working with high net worth individuals, corporations, foundations, family offices or students, our goal is to teach them how to better allocate the resources they steward for good.
This means different things for different people. A foundation may be interested in investing their portfolio through an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) lens, a corporation may want to retain a diverse workforce, and a high net worth individual may want to fund small startups. Whether you know the problem you want to solve or not, we guide you through a journey of theoretical learning and practical application. We provide custom education and advisory services tailored to help you clarify what your values are and how you can align your money with them. We call this practice impact investing.
Most clients come to Impact Finance Center with a preconceived notion of what impact investing is; they’ve heard about it in the news or read about it in articles, and are excited to be part of the trend. But, Impact Finance Center doesn’t just teach traditional impact investing such as ESG screening or greenwashing, we teach Full Spectrum Capital. This revolutionary concept–creating a spectrum of capital offerings from -100% return (i.e. grants) to traditional market returns–is new for almost every client. We’ve seen that once clients learn about the possibility of Full Spectrum Capital, clients’ goals dramatically expand in scope and impact.
Showing what’s possible drives the Impact Finance Center team.
As a visionary in the field, we don’t wait for clients to come to us. We are eager to bring Full Spectrum Capital to anyone who will listen. Thus, our services go beyond education. We also actively identify impact investors, create opportunities to match them with impact investments and develop infrastructure to facilitate transactions.
To identify impact investors, we host events. Whether they are educational webinars, networking opportunities or project conferences, our events–open to everyone–aim to garner interest in the field. Ultimately, our events grow the field’s momentum and the possibility for money to be moved towards impact.
Many who attend our events, request additional education to more fully understand Full Spectrum Capital, and how to apply it to their investing practices, as mentioned above. Once we have identified and educated these impact investors, we work to fully activate them by helping them complete their first transaction.
We facilitate this through our industry-wide network, but also through our marketplaces. Originally we hosted an in-person 3-day annual conference in Denver, focused on opportunities in Colorado–known as CO Impact Days. Now, we have expanded our marketplaces to include virtual events accessible to everyone across the country. Called “Investor Clubs,” these online webinars welcome impact investors (i.e. people with capital) and social ventures (i.e. people who need capital), to meet and learn from one another. Grouped by interest (i.e. sustainable forestry), identity (i.e. women, diverse, native) and place (i.e. California, Massachusetts), our Investor Clubs allow activated impact investors to find opportunities to invest that align with their values.
Finally, we work to ensure that once an impact investor is activated and ready to invest, the appropriate infrastructure exists to facilitate the deal. We want to ensure that the money can move. Currently, we are working on a Share Due Diligence initiative and independent impact investing trust company that can facilitate deals for Diverse Managers and trust fund grantors traditionally left out of impact investing.
Among all that we do, what makes us stand out? We teach Full Spectrum Capital–which I promise will blow your mind, like it did mine.
Visit impactfinancecenter.org to learn more.