The Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing (TPF), a donor collaborative vehicle with a mission of scaling the practice of impact investing, has announced its first round of policy-focused grant recipients. The TPF will award USD752,000 in grants to eight organisations to help raise the voice of impact investors and encourage leaders in Washington DC to consider how US federal policy can catalyse the flow of private capital towards urgent social, economic and environmental challenges.
The TPF was launched in December 2019 with initial funding from organisations including Blue Haven Initiative, Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Omidyar Network. As of July 2020, the TPF had raised USD14 million in funding and remains open to additional funders who wish to contribute to the work of building the impact investing field.
Grant applicants were invited to submit proposals that focused on creating or advancing policies with the potential to fill market gaps, unlock private capital and preserve the integrity of the impact investing industry.
“Policymakers across the ideological spectrum realise that there is an urgent and growing need for new ideas that can meaningfully address the social, economic and environmental crises that continue to proliferate around the world,” says Fran Seegull, Project Director for the TPF and the Executive Director of the US Impact Investing Alliance, a nonprofit organisation that facilitated the co-design and fundraising of the TPF. “The eight grantees announced today bring deep experience and expertise in policymaking, impact investing and stakeholder engagement, and this funding will catalyse new ideas for how impact investors and policymakers can align and contribute to an equitable and inclusive future.”
“Both the Covid crisis and the movement for racial justice call urgent attention to the need to address profound structural inequality in our economy,” says Chris Jurgens, Chair of the TPF Executive Committee. “We need solutions to ensure capital is deployed to promote opportunity for all, not to further entrench injustice. Policies such as those advanced by these grants offer a critical means to achieve this goal.”
The first round of grant recipients includes the following organisations:
• B Lab will continue to advocate for economic systems change by finalising and disseminating its white paper on new fiduciary standards that would mandate increased accountability and transparency into the impact on key stakeholders of business operations and institutional investment decisions.
• The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) will host a series of roundtable discussions and develop a comprehensive policy brief with actionable recommendations for lawmakers and officials on how to foster micro, small, and medium enterprises through development finance strategies.
• Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) will develop a new tax policy proposal to incentivise private investment in community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
• Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) will publish a white paper on promising impact investing policy ideas that advance quality jobs and address inequality in the US – helping to build back better from Covid-19.
• PRI Association will develop and advocate for policy recommendations to align financial regulation with greater consideration of impact in investment processes.
• The Sorenson Impact Center, housed at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, will research a range of potential policy priorities—from reform of the Community Reinvestment Act to tax incentives that promote patient capital—to unlock catalytic capital in the impact investing market and refine the most promising solutions into a series of products tailored to policymakers.
• Stockbridge Advisors will develop the initial chapters of a “desktop manual,” a concise guide to help policymakers embed principles of impact across initiatives and understand the “how” and “why” behind the impact they seek.
• The Urban Institute will develop a series of white papers focused on explaining impact investing to policymakers, contextualising impact investing within current critiques of philanthropy, and positioning impact investing as a component of new wealth strategies.
The selected projects are intended to present a wide array of policy solutions that leverage private capital for public good in the run-up to the 2020 Presidential Election.
In addition to public policy, the TPF will conduct grant-making to support the development of impact investing market infrastructure in the areas of “Data, Metrics and Measurement” and “Public Engagement.”