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ImpactAssets’ Giving Fund Closes 251st Impact Deal

“Custom Investments” feature enables donors to source and recommend investment into social entrepreneurs addressing the world’s biggest challenges.

Press Release – Bethesda, June 20, 2017 – What does the world’s first plant-based burger maker have in common with a direct trade company that works with women coffee farmers and roasters in Latin America?

Both Beyond Meat and Vega Coffee are among 251 businesses, social enterprises and funds that have received funding through the ImpactAssets Custom Investments option – a unique service that is part of The Giving Fund, a donor advised fund [i] with more than $350 million in assets and a 100% focus on impact investing.

The Custom Investments option uniquely enables donors to source and recommend direct investments in private, mission-driven businesses, impact funds and nonprofit organizations using philanthropic dollars as recoverable investment capital.

“This is a great milestone for ImpactAssets as we work to democratize impact investing and provide clients with unique ways to direct capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns,” said Tim Freundlich, president of ImpactAssets. “We understand that impact investing can be a personal commitment. Custom Investments allows clients to recommend the investments that matter most to them.”

To date, donors have sourced and recommended more than 200 direct company investments and 50 funds in the private debt and equity segment, with a minimum $25,000 investment. All entities that receive investment from ImpactAssets must have a commitment to measuring and reporting their social or environmental impact, as well their financial returns.

“The Custom Investments feature has been the perfect way for my wife and I to blend our impact investing and our charitable giving,” said Seth Goldman, Co-founder of Honest Tea and Executive Chairman of Beyond Meat. “We take a little more risk with our impact investments in the Giving Fund, because whether they succeed or not, we know we are supporting a social entrepreneur’s vision and we’re not getting money back personally whatever the outcome. We know that if our investments are successful, the money will be recirculated to support more mission-driven entrepreneurs.”

Custom Investments has been offered to ImpactAssets clients since 2011, but the service has seen a spike in interest and participation since the 2016 Presidential election, as investors seek to make a “hands-on” impact locally and globally. A series of ImpactAssets Roundtables with investment advisors found the post-election environment is generating greater investor activism.

Recent custom investments include:

  • Issue One: Bipartisan effort to reduce the influence of money in politics
  • PennyPass: A new revenue engine for digital media
  • Gigawatt Global: Renewable energy developer in emerging markets
  • Namaste Solar: Solar energy solutions for homeowners, businesses, and utilities
  • Translator: Tech-based provider of identity and empathy training in the workforce
  • OpenInvest: Technology platform to help align investments and values
  • BeyondMeat: The plant based meat alternative

“The donor recommended investment into OpenInvest represented a valuable source of capital in our venture round, which will help us scale our mission to mainstream impact investing and empower every day investors to fight for social progress,” said Josh Levin, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, OpenInvest.

About ImpactAssets:

ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor-advised fund (“The Giving Fund”), impact investment notes, and field-building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through investment.

About The Giving Fund:

The Giving Fund is an innovative donor advised fund that empowers donors to increase the impact of their giving by combining it with strategic sustainable and responsible investing to build a sophisticated philanthropic endowment. Donors recommend how The Giving Fund’s assets are invested across a range of leading impact investment options including community investment, turnkey portfolios, private debt and equity funds, seed venture and custom investments. The Giving Fund currently has $350M in total assets.

[i] A Donor Advised Fund is a philanthropic vehicle that allows organizations, families or individuals to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit and then recommend grants from the fund over time.


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