Money + Meaning highlights the stories of innovators in our community who are leveraging the power of capital markets to create a more just and sustainable economy. We expand the conversation around impact investing and explore strategies to finance & support social change.
Bridging the Gap Between Investor and Borrower with Jasper van Brakel of RSF Social Finance
On this episode, host Alex Kravitz is joined by Jasper van Brakel, the President and CEO of RSF Social Finance. Since the 1980s, RSF has been driving capital to social enterprises supporting a more just and regenerative world. As an intermediary, RSF has long supported direct relationships between transactional partners, which led to the launch of their innovative Community Pricing Gatherings in 2009. These meetings bring together investors in their flagship Social Investment Fund, borrowers from the fund, and RSF staff to set interest rates each quarter. Instead of relying on invisible market forces to dictate interest rates, these meetings create direct relationships between investor and borrower and have proven to be a risk mitigant for investors. During the conversation, Alex and Jasper discuss the Community Pricing Gatherings, other forms of stakeholder governance, RSF’s new Racial Justice Collaborative, and much more.
The Participatory Funding Movement with Meg Massey and Ben Wrobel
“It’s not just about what you invest in, it’s about how you invest.” In their new book ‘Letting Go’, Ben Wrobel and Meg Massey make the case that in order to effectively tackle social challenges, philanthropists and impact investors need to cede control of funding decisions to people with lived experiences of the challenges they are trying to solve. During this episode, Meg and Ben join host, Alex Kravitz, to discuss the origin of the participatory funding movement, examples of innovative organizations working to center community voice, and some of the differences between building participation into philanthropic grantmaking vs. impact investing.
Creating an Investment Roadmap with Shalini Rao of Generation Investment Management
On this episode of Money and Meaning, host Alex Kravitz is joined by Shalini Rao, Director of Growth Equity at Generation Investment Management. Originally founded in 2004 by Al Gore and David Blood, Generation currently manages over $30B in assets with 100% invested in long-term, sustainable investments. The growth equity team recently closed their third Sustainable Solutions Fund with over $1B in committed capital, which they invest in three broad impact areas: planetary health, people health, and financial inclusion. During the conversation, Shalini talks about the importance of fully integrating sustainability into the investment process. She also discusses Generation’s use of investment roadmaps to identify systems positive outcomes (outcomes necessary to drive change in our economic and social systems) and how they work back from these desired outcomes to identify viable investment opportunities.
The Need for Concessionary, Impact-First Capital with Greg Neichin of Ceniarth
“You’ll get no argument from me that there are sectors where moving institutional scale, finance-first money is what’s needed. Our argument is that in places where the market is not functioning, in places where markets have left people behind, that this kind of low-cost money is required in order to make a difference in the lives of poor, marginalized, vulnerable communities and we shouldn’t delude ourselves into believing that finance-first [impact investing] is a magic bullet.”
On this episode of Money + Meaning, Alex Kravitz is joined by Greg Neichin, Director and Board Member of Ceniarth, the impact-first single family office of Diane Isenberg. Ceniarth’s investment strategy focuses on geographies and markets where commercial, finance-first investment is not realistic. Investments in these areas, primarily marginalized, rural communities, necessitates a meaningful tradeoff between impact and return. During the conversation, Greg talks about the evolution of Ceniarth's impact-first approach and the important role that family offices and foundations can play in the sector.
Scaling Responsible Innovation in Lending with Jacob Haar of Community Investment Management
“Lending has the capacity to transform what people can do based on their capabilities and not necessarily based just on the opportunities that they’ve been dealt. If you believe, like I do, that capabilities are equally distributed but opportunities certainly are not, then lending can be a way to try to level the playing field a bit more.”
This episode of Money and Meaning features Jacob Haar, the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Community Investment Management (CIM). CIM is an institutional impact investment manager that provides debt capital to lenders who are doing innovative work in underserved communities. The CIM capital both helps these organizations scale up their lending practices to serve more customers and helps to bring responsible and transparent solutions for the underserved into the financial mainstream.
Launching a Corporate Impact Fund with Blair Miller of TELUS
In late 2020, TELUS, one of Canada’s largest telecommunication companies, launched a $100mm corporate impact fund. Named the Pollinator Fund for Good, the fund invests seed and Series A capital in social entrepreneurs working across four impact areas: environment, agriculture, health, and inclusive communities. Joining this episode is Blair Miller, the Managing Partner of the fund to talk about how the TELUS culture of social capitalism led to the fund’s creation and what other corporates interested in impact investing can learn from their experience.
Inspiring and actionable!
Great content, delivered in an easy to consume format - no matter the topic, I gain something from every episode. An incredible resource for anyone looking to make a positive impact with their investments!
Great all around info for Impact Investors
They interview so many of the major players in the market and also provide so many other references to resources to check out both inside the podcasts and also on the blog.
Great to see this podcast come together. The 365 series is one of the best in impact investing and this brings it home!