Best Practice

4 Ways to Position your Foundation for an Impact Investing Strategy

Publication date: 
02/2013

The growth of impact investing is being driven by family offices, foundations, and high-net-worth individuals. As this cohort of investors navigates this new frontier of investing, many are finding it challenging to engage their key stakeholders—trustees, family members, staff, and more—because of the long-held practice of maintaining a divide between philanthropic giving and investing. Engaging trustees and staff who are philanthropically oriented to consider finance vehicles, or engaging investment staff to consider social or environmental impact, is a significant paradigm shift. However, this by no means is an obstacle for developing a meaningful strategy. Here are a few tips for foundations seeking to explore an impact investing strategy.

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Case Studies: How Four Community Information Projects Went from Idea to Impact

Publication date: 
02/2013

This report offers four case studies on how different foundations used information to improve the healthy functioning of their communities. The cases highlight the following: Why did each foundation support local media? How did it connect to their strategic priorities? What steps did they take to make their project successful? And what impact has it had on the issues they care about? Sharing these cases we hope provides valuable lessons for other foundations considering supporting local news and information efforts and broadening their commitment to using media and technology to engage residents.

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Family Foundations: What Questions Should We Ask Our Auditors?

Publication date: 
02/2013

Once again everyone’s favorite time of year has arrived, audit time. For many, this can be viewed as a daunting and even arduous process. A family foundation in the National Center’s network of Friends who no longer cringes at audit time shares this list of questions to ask your auditor to ensure your organization has a clean financial bill of health.

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Why Program-Related Investments Are Not Risky Business

Publication date: 
02/2013

Program-related investments (PRIs) hold incredible potential for the social enterprise arena. Rather than giving away money through grants, PRIs allow foundations to make investments as loans or equity stakes in the hopes of regaining their investments plus a reasonable rate of return. This arrangement allows foundations to increase the amount of money available to the social sector, while simultaneously building stronger and more sustainable socially minded entities.

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Better Recruitment Through Philanthropy

Publication date: 
01/2013

Now that the economy is picking up steam, top talent is in even higher demand. So how can you make your company stand out from the crowd? Now that the economy is picking up steam, top talent is in even higher demand. So how can you make your company stand out from the crowd? Three words: corporate volunteer programs.

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Modernizing CSR in 2013: Let Your Team Guide Your Company's Charitable Efforts

Publication date: 
01/2013

In today’s workplace, people throw around the term “Corporate Social Responsibility” pretty freely without really knowing what it means. The term was coined in the 1950s, and originally was based on corporate reporting for environmental and consumer protection. Although that is still an important element of CSR, the definition has expanded to include corporate charitable outreach, specifically how companies are giving back to their communities.

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The Paper Diet: A New Way (Not) To Think About Paper

Publication date: 
01/2013

The Paper Diet began in 2011 where “Beyond the Recycling Bin” ended, with results that show grantmakers’ interest in greening and understanding of the key practices required to lessen the use of paper and increase content efficiency. In 2010, the amount of paper recovered for recycling averaged 334 pounds for each person living in the U.S., according to the American Forest & Paper Association. And that’s just the paper that was recovered.

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