Program–Related Investments a key tool for impact investors

Increasingly, charitable donors are interested in “impact investing” with their philanthropically committed capital. They seek more creative ways to align their investments with their missions. Earlier this year, in “All investing is impact investing,” I discussed the growing recognition that grants and investments can generate both financial returns and social impact. In this column, I…

Seven steps towards strategic corporate philanthropy

Last year, U.S. corporations donated more than $18 billion to nonprofits — and billions more if you include the value of employee volunteerism. Successful companies now recognize that philanthropy is a key component of corporate citizenship and overall business strategy. Too often, corporate philanthropy is random and uncoordinated. To be truly effective, it must be…

Trusted family advisors should address philanthropy

More than $40 trillion will be inherited over the next few decades — the largest transfer of wealth in history. Forty-five percent of spouses who inherit will seek and find a different financial adviser to manage those funds. Once the surviving spouse dies, a whopping 98 percent of the inheriting descendants will move those funds…

All investing is impact investing

In the United States, nearly $1 trillion is committed to philanthropy — sitting in foundations, donor-advised funds and elsewhere. Donors have transferred ownership of these funds to separate entities and received their tax deductions. Yet only a small percentage of those funds is expended on charitable donations for the public good. The great majority of…

Strategic giving: 5 steps to get the most bang from your philanthropic buck

During the holiday season, our mailboxes are overflowing with catalogs, holiday cards — and requests for donations. Our voice message boxes are not much farther behind. At this time of year, when people are feeling particularly generous, nonprofits work hard to raise needed funds for the upcoming year. Although critically important to nonprofit budgets, most…

100 years of community foundations: Accomplishments and challenges

The first community foundation was created 100 years ago in Cleveland. Within five years, additional community foundations sprung up in Boston, Chicago, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Today, there are more than 700 community foundations in urban and rural communities across the United States. With more than $50 billion in combined assets, they distribute an estimated…

Domestic microfinance helps people start businesses, alleviate poverty, and create jobs

In international microfinance, small loans are made to help people in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty. This concept also works domestically. In the U.S., nonprofit microfinance organizations help low-income people start businesses, create jobs, alleviate poverty and improve their opportunities. Traditional financial institutions were created to help people who already have money or…

Hunger where we live — the philanthropic response

For more than 30 years, I’ve lived in the same neighborhood in Denver. It’s nice – with neat lawns, friendly people and a great sense of community. Just a few blocks from my home, there’s a public elementary school. Recently, I received a flier that asked for food donations to help fill the Friday-afternoon backpacks…