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Social Impact Investing: A Conversation

Photo of Hannah Gibney Hannah Gibney
3 min

Impact investing actually allows for a little bit more flexibility in the type of works that can get done because impact investing even with heavily spiritual components... or employment and things like that can be done with charitable capital to non-charitable entities if they have the right type of charitable work embedded in what they're doing. So it actually opens up the world a bit more...

Tricia Collins, Trustbridge Global Foundation

We were delighted to take part in a conversation with Aimee Minnich from Impact Foundation, Rachel Steeden from Stewardship and Tricia Collins from TrustBridge Global Foundation around the challenges and opportunities surrounding Social Impact Investing. Aimee started us off with a really helpful definition:

‘Social Impact Investing is defined as: intentionally placing capital to achieve a measurable social and environmental impact, and because we’re faith driven we also add a spiritual outcome to that...”

The panel discussed how there is an overall move towards impact investing in the US, where uptake has doubled every year for the last four years. A picture of this growth can be found in the 2020 Impact Report, from the Impact Foundation. The UK is a little behind on this type of growth, but we are seeing an increase in donors looking to utilize social investment both to increase the impact of their giving, and to (potentially) see a return on those charitable funds which can enable further philanthropy.

The panel discussed reactions to the idea of impact investing they had experienced and when explaining putting charitable funds into for-profit companies or as loans to non-profit organisations. There seemed to be generally two reactions:  

Either it was “Oh my gosh, this is amazing, where have you been all my life, I’ve been wanting to do this” or “I think that might be illegal”. The panel responded to both of these by unpacking the scope and possibilities of using impact investing with charitable funds.

They also covered key questions like:

  • When should a philanthropist consider making an impact investment rather than giving a grant?
  • What are the trends that we are currently seeing in the world of social impact investing?
  • What are the challenges for cross-border impact investing?
  • What mechanisms and structures are out there to help meet those challenges?

You can listen to the full discussion here.

As always we would love to hear from you if you would like to explore the possibilities of social impact investing, have a story to share or if we can help in any way with your philanthropy. Please do get in touch if we can serve you, or you would like to contribute to the conversation!

The Panel

Aimee serves as Chief Impact Officer and General Counsel of Impact Foundation. They focus on making it easy to put charitable capital to work for economic, social, and spiritual transformation all over the world. Prior to founding impact foundation, she served as President and General Counsel for the National Christian Foundation, Heartland, where she designed and implemented the foundation’s missional investing program to allow the investment of donor-advised funds in social impact companies. A recovering attorney, Aimee also serves as an entrepreneur in residence at Miami University’s John W. Altman Center for Entrepreneurship and as a trustee with Praxis Mutual Funds.

Tricia Collins serves as the Vice President of Philanthropy and Giver Services at Trustbridge Global Foundation, a donor advised fund foundation based in Switzerland.  Tricia is currently serving on the board of trustees for Stewardship America and 100 Shares Tampa Bay. She also serves on the executive committee of safe in Tampa Bay, which is dedicated to eradicating the human trafficking industry in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Tricia and her husband Bob have been married for 26 years, have 5 grown children and one amazingly spirited granddaughter. 

Rachel is the Legal Advisor at Stewardship. Rachel has over 15 years’ experience advising private clients and charities. She now works primarily with the Philanthropy Services team and helps our major donors to make complex gifts efficiently and tax-effectively.

 

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Written by

Hannah Gibney

Hannah joined the Philanthropy Services Team in 2019 to help reach out to new and emerging philanthropists. Her previous roles have been in the Christian and secular spheres and she is passionate about seeing people released into the fullness that God has for them.

She loves working in a team where its primary aim is to help people experience freedom through generosity.

She lives and worships in Bristol at Christ Church Clifton and is concerned about Justice and Children and Youth.