September 8th, 2021
Message from the Executive Director.
I am very excited to introduce to you the “new look” at Impact Charitable. You’ll quickly see the new logo and color pallet here, and we invite you to visit our new website where you will see dramatically different imagery and a new approach to communicating our service offerings. Beyond the imagery and website, we are pleased to introduce you to an authentically new Impact Charitable, where we are cultivating a community of impact investors, philanthropists and social entrepreneurs who mobilize their assets in creative and impactful ways.
We are very excited about this new positioning statement and what it says about Impact Charitable. What is just as important is what it does not mention, which is Impact Charitable as simply a provider of Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) services. No need for alarm, while Impact Charitable continues to offer donor-advised fund services, it simply will no longer define “who we are”.
Ed Briscoe (current board president) founded Impact Charitable under the belief that charitable (DAF) assets should be 100% invested for impact. That meant that the assets that were held in a donor’s “fund” should have access to best-in-class ESG, SRI investment options AND that DAFs should be and could be leverage to make impact first, direct investments (loans, equity investments etc.) into nonprofits, for-profit social ventures and impact funds. Since its founding in 2015, Impact Charitable has delivered on the original mission assisting philanthropists and other funders to facilitate numerous direct investments bridging capital gaps while partnering with high-performing, impact-oriented investment management firms to manage fund balances.
However, establishing a clear, differentiated position in the increasingly competitive impact investing landscape and amidst a surge of ESG, SRI offerings by both large DAF platforms (Fidelity, Schwab) and local public community foundations became increasingly difficult, especially having been perceived as simply a DAF provider.
A decision to pivot, Covid-19 and the Left Behind Workers Fund. After much discussion over the previous year, the Impact Charitable board of directors made a decision in February of 2020 to explore new opportunities. The intention was to create additional lines of work tied more directly to our unique skills and capabilities, to explore the potential for the organization to create truly unique value within the larger philanthropic and social enterprise sectors.
Just weeks after the meeting, the world was turned upside down by the Covid pandemic and, like many organizations, longer-term plans gave way to short- term considerations. However, in the midst of the chaos, the Left Behind Workers Fund (a special purpose fund) was born. Mark Newhouse, Impact Charitable board member, and Ed Briscoe had begun talking about the potential for creating a direct cash program when the pandemic struck.
Ed brought attention to the fact that thousands of undocumented workers were losing their jobs, and absent citizenship status, they had no access to the life-saving federal benefits including emergency stimulus checks and unemployment insurance. What started out as a “pilot” objective to raise $250,000 to serve 250 families, has resulted in over $25 million in private and public funding for direct cash and direct rental assistance (see LBWF case
So, while the pandemic offered its distractions away from the board’s initial desire for exploration, it also offered an immediate example of how Impact Charitable could leverage its nonprofit status, its willingness to take risks, and its entrepreneurial nature which created the opportunity to work with funders to move capital in unique ways, outside of
donor-advised fund services.
Since January of this year, Impact Charitable has been engaged with funders and community-based organizations to discuss other direct cash program pilot opportunities while also being contacted by philanthropic advisors, individual funders and foundations about their desires to be more creative, innovative in the way they think about deploying capital. This has led us here – positioning Impact Charitable as a partner to create unique programs/pathways to impact. As such, we are making investments in staff, systems and tools to help “activate” philanthropic capital. Our goal is to present more unique opportunities while partnering with catalytic
funders to co-create new programs and vehicles to move capital into communities and to entrepreneurs that have long been overlooked.
Welcome to Impact