ImpactAlpha Open | July 25, 2023

ImpactAlpha Open: Impact at HBCUs + BlackRock backpedaling

Dennis Price

Get a weekly pulse on news and trends in impact investing with our free newsletter.

*I agree to receive marketing emails from ImpactAlpha, its affiliates, and accept our terms of use and privacy policy.
By signing up you agree to receive marketing emails from ImpactAlpha Inc. and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Hi there, Agents of Impact! I’d like to extend an open invitation to our next subscriber-only call. 

👋 Join us on LinkedIn Live. To kick off ImpactAlpha’s partnership with Sherrell Dorsey, founder of The Plug, we’re hosting “Unlocking social returns with investments in HBCUs,” with Carla Whitlock of Tuskegee University, JFF’s Taj Eldridge, Milken Institute’s Troy DuffieMirtha Donastorg of Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and ImpactAlpha’s David Bank, this Wednesday, Jul. 26 at 10am PT / 1pm ET.

In this week’s Open:

  • Impact at HBCUs
  • (Investing) power to the people
  • BlackRock backpedaling
  • Corporate impact VC

Ok, let’s get to it. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Impact at HBCUs. Investors, employers and policymakers are looking for ways to generate social returns through investments in historically Black colleges and universities, reports David Bank (RSVP for this week’s call).
  • BlackRock backpedaling. After years of touting BlackRock’s sustainability chops, Larry Fink is backpedaling on ESG and last week named the head of Saudi oil giant Aramco to BlackRock’s board, as Amy Cortese reports.
  • Shareholder engagement. ExxonMobil’s dividend, capital spending and oil production, not to mention profits, are all up, two years after a tiny hedge fund won a proxy fight to put a slate of insurgent directors on the oil company’s board. “Shareholder activists’ biggest-ever victory was effectively a nothing-burger,” Imogen Rose-Smith writes in her latest Institutional Impact column
  • Fueling food waste solutions. Proponents of food waste solutions recognize the value of patient, risk-taking and catalytic capital. We need a bigger helping, argues ReFED’s Alejandro Enamorado lays out for ImpactAlpha.
  • (Investing) power to the people. Funders are practicing “participatory investing” to shift decision-making power, as well as capital, to communities closest to the solutions, as Amy reports, with help from a new toolkit from Common Future and World Education Services.
  • Strategic community partners. Impact managers are vying for the mandate to stand up a national “green bank,” reports Roodgally Senatus.

Agents of Impact

🏃🏿‍♀️ On the move

  • DeAngela Burns-Wallace, a former member of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s cabinet, will become CEO and president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
  • Karen Kelleher, ex- of LISC Boston, was named president of the BlueHub Loan Fund.
  • Fidelity’s Emilie Goodall, CalSTRS’s Kirsty Jenkinson, and Kieron Boyle of Impact Investing Institute are among the members of TIIP’s working group to set standards for measuring system-level investing influence.

Impact Briefing

🎧 On the podcast

David Bank chats with Acre Africa’s Niza Banda in the next conversation from this summer’s “Connecting capital to communities” gathering at the Salzburg Global Seminar, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Host Brian Walsh has the headlines.

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

🍻 Brewing employee ownership. The unionized workers of Anchor Brewing, the historic San Francisco brewery that announced it will shutter, have launched an effort to purchase the brewery and run it as a worker co-op. (Vinepair)

📐 Get impact ready. Tools. Standards. Data. IMM nerds unite! The UK Impact Investing Institute’s learning hub has compiled resources to bring you up to speed on impact measurement, management and reporting. (Impact Investing Institute)

💼 Corporate impact VC. Impact-driven corporate venture capital funds like those from Salesforce and Telus can provide portfolio companies with patient financial capital, mission alignment, in-house technical expertise, and access to new markets. (RBC Capital Markets)

☀️ Greening the Gulf. The push from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar into clean energy is cause for cautious optimism. The Gulf States may be willing to invest in places Western countries will not. (Foreign Affairs)

⚖️ Missy’s climate missionMissy Sims, an Armani-and-Rolex wearing observant Catholic from a small Midwestern town, is the singular force behind a creative legal gambit to make oil and gas companies pay for the devastation wrought by climate change in Puerto Rico. (The New York Times)

‍🌾 Agtech in India. Seven of 10 smallholder farmers in India have lost more than half their crops in the past three years due to climate-related challenges, according to a new study. The upside: Farmers are spending less time on farming thanks to technology advances. (Rockefeller Foundation)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • Justice Funders is hiring a senior director of transition investing.
  • Acumen is looking for a senior investment associate in Nairobi.
  • Purpose Foundation seeks a research lead.

Scan through dozens of more impact jobs curated this week on

🤝 Meet up

Don’t miss these upcoming impact investing events:

📬 Get ImpactAlpha Open in your inbox each Tuesday

Sign up for FREE.

Don’t be a stranger. Connect with us. Tell us who you are and what you’re up to. Share your news, tips, data points, introductions and high-impact ideas, to [email protected].

‘Til next Tuesday!

Partner with us, including by sponsoring this newsletter. Get in touch.

Get ImpactAlpha for Teams. Save with substantial group discounts. Start here