ImpactAlpha Open | February 20, 2024

ImpactAlpha Open: Stewarding purpose + HBCU climate action

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Hi there, Agents of Impact! Next week I’ll be at Neighborhood Economics in San Antonio, and then at the Latin America Impact Investing Forum in Merída. Grab me and say hi!

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In this week’s Open:

  • Stewarding purpose
  • Alt-playbook for fighting inflation
  • Financing housing for the homeless
  • HBCU climate action

Let’s dig in. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Stewarding purpose. Natural Investments has converted to a perpetual purpose trust after 40 years as a sustainable investment firm. “We instantly changed our governance and power dynamics,” Michael Kramer explains in a guest post. Read all about it.
  • Systemic risks of the Magnificent Seven. Ignoring the negative externalities of individual investments, even of high-flyers such as the “Magnificent Seven,” can hurt your overall portfolio – and society, argues Benedict Partners’ Billy GridleyGet his take.
  • Alt inflation-fighting playbook. Rather than raising interest rates to tamp down demand, policymakers could promote abundance by increasing the supply of green energy, affordable housing, healthy food and other “scarce” resources can meet basic needs and reduce costs, reports Amy CorteseTake a peekBonus: “The US economy is growing and labor is thriving. Profits, not so much,” by Robert Brown.
  • Financing housing for the homeless.In Los Angeles, SDS Capital’s Deborah La Franchi is building permanent supportive housing quickly and cheaply – with private capital only, Roody Senatus reports. More on the model.
  • Spending down. “What is enough?” Lynne Hoey of the Kataly Foundation explores the foundation’s mission to spend out its $450 million reserve and redistribute wealth to frontline communities. She says Kataly is challenging “the underlying assumption that philanthropy always needs more in its coffers.” Dig in.

Sponsored: Impact Ventures by J&J Foundation

⚕️ How investors are forging new roadmaps for health impact

Expanded internet access and a suite of digital tools are revolutionizing how healthcare is delivered in emerging and frontier markets. Investors have an opportunity to overcome long standing inequities in the global health system with committed impact capital, sophisticated financing and smarter partnerships. New financing models and cross-sector partnerships “can act as a roadmap for other investors seeking risk mitigation and performance accountability while providing company founders new access and flexibility for their financing needs,” James Bair and Carolina Batista of Baraka Impact Finance write in a guest post on ImpactAlpha

Agents of Impact

🏃🏾‍♀️ People on the move

🌱 HBCU climate action. Historically Black colleges and universities have a pivotal role to play in building solutions to systemic inequities exacerbated by climate change. A new survey and blueprint reveal climate action already underway at Bennett College, Bowie State University and other HBCUs. (UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building)

🏦 Racial equity in munis. The Wall Street Journalis taking up themes raised in ImpactAlpha’s coverage of racial equity in the municipal bond market. Stanford’s Destin Jenkins, the 36-year-old author of “The Bonds of Inequality,” was profiled this week as “The Stanford professor taking on racism in the $4 trillion muni-bond market.” (WSJ)

📈 Strategic investments in distressed communities. Biden-era legislation has kicked off an investment surge in clean energy, semiconductors and electronics, biomanufacturing and other strategic sectors in the US. Low-income communities have so far received an outsized proportion of new investment. (Brookings Institution)

♿ Disability alpha. Americans with disabilities make up 12% of the population but account for up to one-third of economic gains since the pandemic. The economic participation rate of disabled Americans is near record highs, as remote work has helped reduce barriers. (Bloomberg)

🗺️ Impact roadmap for families. Globally, wealthy families manage roughly $10 trillion. A new guide from the UK Impact Investing Institute provides practical steps, information and resources to help families adopt an approach to impact investing. (Impact Investing Institute)

😎 Impact CEOs. Generate Capital’s Scott Jacobs, 3Degrees’ Steve McDougal and Vital Farms’ Russell Diez-Canseco top Big Path Capital’s MO 100 Top Impact CEO rankings of leaders leveraging capitalism to create shared prosperity. (Big Path Capital)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • Emerson Collective is hiring an investment associate in Washington, DC. 
  • Dynamic Planet seeks a campaign director. 
  • Lafayette Square is hiring an associate of worker solutions.

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