Featured: The Reconstruction

Rey Ramsey on deploying 100% of foundation assets toward positive impact and racial equity (podcast). The case for breaking down philanthropy’s historical divide between the investment side of the house and a foundation’s mission or programs gets stronger with each new foundation that bridges the chasm. The Nathan Cummings Foundation says it has nearly fulfilled its commitment made three three years ago to align 100% of its $450 million endowment with its mission goals (see, “With new pledge, another foundation moves to align endowment with mission”) and has found that aligning its endowment with positive impact turns out to drive decent returns as well. “People hide behind the issue of financial returns. And that is a ruse and it is an excuse,” Nathan Cummings’ Rey Ramsey tells host Monique Aiken in the latest edition of The Reconstruction podcast on ImpactAlpha. “We believe that our new mission-aligned strategy produced stronger returns than our traditional approach would have despite all of the challenges in 2020,” Ramsey and board chair Jaimie Mayer write in “Values Proposition,” a report on the foundation’s journey to date. 

Dealflow: Follow the Money

FINCA Ventures makes three investments in financial and economic inclusion. The impact investing arm of microfinance organization FINCA International added three companies to its portfolio of early-stage tech companies targeting services for informal and low-income emerging markets’ workers. South Africa-based Kuunda Digital offers overdraft coverage for mobile money agents. Amsterdam-based Meridia uses mapping to help smallholder farmers secure title to their land. And Nairobi-based ImaliPay provides financial services for emerging market gig workers.

Signals: Ahead of the Curve

Overheard at the Island Finance Forum: Caribbean’s inclusive recovery. Volcanic eruptions in the Caribbean that have caused residents of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to flee their homes lent urgency to last week’s Island Finance Forum hosted by Island Innovation. “Crises are unfortunately not a surprise to most islanders,” said European Investment Bank’s Alexandra Almeida. Financial experts, island policymakers and investors at the forum said the road to economic recovery and inclusive growth leads through the clean energy transition and financial inclusion for islanders. The EIB has committed to delivering at least half of its annual financing to climate action and environmental sustainability by 2025, and to divest from the fossil fuel industry by the end of 2021.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Intel Corp. names Dawn Jones as chief diversity and inclusion officer and vice president of social impact… KKR is recruiting a vice president of strategic ESG and impact reporting in New York… The Visa Foundation seeks an investment officer in Washington, D.C… Kapor Capital is hiring a portfolio services director in Oakland… Village Capital is looking for a program manager for Europe based in London. 

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