Impact Investments are made for more than financial return with a focus on supporting a solution to a social, cultural or environmental issue.
Grantmaking is not the only way community foundations can better our communities. There’s another way to make a difference—Impact Investments. These are a flexible financing tool that The Foundation is now providing that allow investment in solutions to social problems, while also recycling those dollars and earning some return for new investments.
The Foundation’s Impact Investment Guidelines state that the purpose of these investments is to amplify the strategic research and programming directions of The Foundation. At present, these investments are made with Foundation funds with oversight from the Investment Committee supported by its Impact Investment Committee, with final decision making by The Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Participating in Impact Investments
The Foundation’s Donor Advised Fundholders who are interested in participating in Impact Investments can agree to contribute directly from their Fund.
This means Fundholders can use endowed or flow through funds to invest in segregated Impact Investment opportunities that are approved by the Investment Committee and The Foundation Board. Following maturity of the Impact Investment, the funds will be reinvested in accordance with The Foundation’s Investment Policy, and may be used again in future for another Impact Investment opportunity.
Community Fundholders and non-Fundholders can choose to donate to The Foundation’s Community Investment Pool. Donations to this pool will be used to invest in these same Impact Investment opportunities that have been approved by the Investment Committee and The Foundation Board.
Want to learn more about this important, strategic and impactful way of supporting charities, contact Alison Moeller, CFO, to discuss your interest in participating in Impact Investing.
The Foundation’s Current Impact Investments
This is The Foundation’s first Impact Investment, a trilateral loan alongside the Burlington Foundation and Hamilton Community Foundation. The Impact Investment loan supported the purchase of a new home for the Halton Children’s Aid Society’s Bridging the Gap program.
The home, located in Burlington, houses homeless and at-risk youth aged 16-24. It serves as transitional housing for six youth and a mentor, alongside onsite support staff. The home has so far housed 16 youth.
The Foundation joined with the Hamilton Community Foundation to fund and support an expansion and renovation of Food For Life’s current facility, to facilitate a growing need and demand for food in our community.
This loan has provided immediate impact and improvements, including an expanded storage space, new offices and a brand new onsite composter.
Windmill Microlending provides microloans of up to $15,000 to newcomers so they are able to meet Canadian professional certification requirements. To date, Windmill Microlending has supported 60 people living in Halton Region.
In 2021, The Foundation added a fourth Impact Investment to its portfolio with the purchase of Bonds in a Canadian investment fund focused on fixed income investments in Latin America and the Caribbean in companies with missions to promote women in leadership and governance, products and services that meet the needs of women and girls, gender-sensitive value chains, and workplace equity.