The Council of Michigan Foundations supports members every step of the way towards building an impact investing practice at their organization.
Conceptually, impact investing makes good sense for many in the philanthropic sector; practically, however, the field of impact investing still has real barriers to entry.
These barriers include tactical:
- High minimum investment amounts and high minimum asset size requirements that leave out a majority of funders
- Inflexibility of directing where the funds you invest go geographically
- Often investments that come with high risk profiles, high transaction costs and limited liquidity
And oftentimes, cultural:
- Deeply entrenched organizational norms around what committee or sub-committee manages a foundation’s investment portfolio
- Board members who have not bought in to the potential of impact investing to improve outcomes
- Longstanding investment relationships that may be skeptical or resistant to this emerging form of investing
CMF works with individual foundations and our Impact Investing Committee, driven by CMF members, to address these barriers and ease the entry into impact investing for foundations of all sizes.
We do this through:
- Regular learning opportunities around all facets of impact investing
- CEO briefings on our impact investing work
- The CMF Impact Investing Committee which has been a standing member group of CMF for two years and inspired a new financial services product localized to impact investing in Michigan
- Researching, cultivating and sharing stories of impact investing at work
Would you like to know more about CMF’s impact investing work? Does your foundation need assistance in knowing where to start? Please contact Debbie McKeon.
See what CMF members are doing with impact investing
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
M&M Fisher Foundation
Michigan Women's Foundation
Community Foundation for Muskegon County
Recognizing the social impact opportunity of impact investing, a CMF member-led Task Force for Impact Investing was originated in 2014. Through deep analysis and exploration, the task force put forth a recommendation to the financial services industry to develop a product which would eliminate the entry barriers to impact investing and increase the accessibility of these funds generating both financial and social returns.
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