The Need for Impact Investing

May 29, 2014 | 6-7:30 pm | Sign up now!

The U.S. philanthropic sector pays out about $47 billion per year in grants (Foundation Center Data, 2011). Most foundations are only granting 5% of their total assets. What about the remaining 95%? Foundations invest 19 times more dollars in investments than in grants. This begs the question: how are foundations investing? Do foundation investments reflect their mission and values? Philanthropy spends considerable time and resources carefully grant-making, so how can philanthropy turn its tremendous power— in the form of investments and divestments in companies— into an opportunity for leveraging greater impact? Come learn about what some foundations are doing and what emerging practitioners in philanthropy can do within their own organizations to support mission-driven investing! Join our dynamic speakers for this fun, thoughtful, and important conversation.

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Daryn DodsonDaryn Dodson is a Private Equity and Venture Capital Consultant to Board of Directors at Calvert Funds. He advises companies, foundations and universities on impact investments. He currently co-leads the Special Equities Program at Calvert Funds. Through this program, Calvert has invested more than $69 million in impact investing funds and companies. Post Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Dodson served as Director of University and Corporate Partnership for the Idea Village, where he created a platform engaging leading private equity firms, business schools, and Fortune 500 companies to invest more than 50,000 hours and $2 million into New Orleans entrepreneurs. Prior to New Orleans, he built a coalition of national banks and faith-based institutions to educate Congress on reforms needed to stabilize the subprime lending market with Self-Help Credit Union. Mr. Dodson currently serves as a Board Director for Ben and Jerry’s, Stanford Business Alumni and Impact Hub DC. He earned a MBA from Stanford and an AB in Public Policy from Duke University.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACynthia Muller leads the firm’s impact investing practice. She helps our individual and institutional clients understand the field of impact investing, develop strategies, and structure investments to accomplish their social and environmental goals. Her extensive background in social enterprise and mission investing includes connecting public policy, programs, and capital for emerging social innovations to increase economic opportunities for under-served and marginalized communities. Prior to joining Arabella Advisors, Cynthia built a wealth of experience working on strategic initiatives in mission-driven organizations focused on issues including community health, affordable housing, and economic development. As director of strategic investments at NCB Capital Impact, a national community development financial institution, she managed over $80 million in grants and impact investments. She has also served on the board of the CIRI Foundation and volunteered for the Alaska Marketplace. Cynthia holds a BA in psychology from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Washington.

Jenna NicholasJenna Nicholas is the co-founder and CEO of a social enterprise,  Phoenix Global Impact. Phoenix Global is a consulting firm that specializes in helping leaders in the fields of impact investing, social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy. Through advisory, services, strategy consulting and research-driven business development support, Phoenix Global works to magnify its clients’ impact and promote a more sustainable and just society. Jenna is also an Associate to Wayne Silby, Chairman of Calvert Special Equities in Washington, DC. Jenna is an advisor to Nexus Global Youth Summit, Impact Hub and High Water Women. Jenna graduated from Stanford University, with an International Relations Honors Degree, having also read International Development at Oxford University.  Jenna has also interned at: the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR); the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society; the Siebel Foundation; Global Health Corps and Business for Social Responsibility in Beijing.  She was on the Board of the Stanford Haas Center for Public Service, and the Judging Chair of the Business Association for Stanford Entrepreneurial Students Social Entrepreneurship Competition. In Fall 2013, Jenna co-taught a course at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management on Value Creation through Impact Investing and Corporate Social Responsibility.

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