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Michigan Impact Investing Hub Convenes for Shared Learning and Connection

CMF members and sector partners from across Michigan and the country gathered in Kalamazoo last month for the first in-person convening of the Michigan Impact Investing Hub.

Impact Investing Hub

CMF members and sector partners from across Michigan and the country gathered in Kalamazoo last month for the first in-person convening of the Michigan Impact Investing Hub.

The Michigan Impact Investing Hub is a model for connecting stakeholders engaged in impact investing, including nonprofits, foundations, advisors, fund managers and beyond.

According to Global Impact Investing Network, impact investments are investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

The Hub, which first launched in October 2021, consists of a four-leaf clover ecosystem in which similarly situated stakeholders periodically gather, share what they believe is needed in Michigan’s impact investing ecosystem and propose actions to meet those goals.

A team of peers from each “Leaf” is more regularly convening to share thoughts and brainstorm ideas as a collective, with results shared back with all Hub participants. 

Hub engagement continues to grow, as new participants are welcomed to join any time throughout the year.

The recent convening in Kalamazoo featured opportunities for shared learning around impact investing practices and policies, main stage panel discussions highlighting stories of impact within communities around the state, connection spaces by role in the impact investing ecosystem and more.  

"I greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities for those who are attempting to advance an impact investing agenda within their organizations. The panel speakers were insightful, to the point and shared diverse perspectives. As a result of participating, I am even more motivated to advance the critical work of ensuring all investment decisions align with mission, vision and values of positively impacting our communities," Camarrah Morgan, program partner at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation said.

“The Michigan Impact Investing Hub is a unique model for convening and connecting stakeholders engaged in impact investing. I am thrilled that we were able to gather the stakeholders and grateful that so many traveled from around the state and the country to be with us,” Jennifer Oertel, CMF’s impact investing expert in residence said.

CMF has been at the forefront of this field since 2013 through the leadership of our community of philanthropy, including CMF’s Impact Investing Committee and its partners. Since that time the practice of impact investing has made significant strides forward and continues to evolve. 

“What stood out to me the most about the convening is how far we’ve come in Michigan’s ecosystem since CMF began this journey a decade ago. The activity and interest level is astounding, and having had that in-person connection, I think that we will see even more great work come out of this,” Oertel said.

Over the years stakeholders have increasingly expressed through various statewide and regional convenings that they would like a common point of coming together. The Hub serves as a shared table to build relationships and break down communication silos. 

“The challenge now will be for stakeholders to maintain the level of excitement we saw at the convening and build upon the lessons learned in order to make more of this great work happen. We look forward to a day where ‘impact investing’ is just ‘investing,” Oertel said.

Morgan shared that impact investing is an invaluable commitment to improving social and financial outcomes for communities and encourages CMF members to "just do it."

"Take one step at a time, learn by doing and stick with it. Impact investments signal that innovative possibilities are everywhere," Morgan said.

Want more?

Learn more about the Michigan Impact Investing Hub.

Join the Hub.

Explore how members are engaging in impact investing it their communities.