Looks like I have just now agreed to talk on impact investing for a group of fundraisers in May. They want me to provoke table conversations with such questions as these.
- What is impact investing, as opposed to earlier forms of socially conscious or screened investing?
- Where does it fit in your work as a nonprofit? (Endowment?)
- Is impact investing friend or foe for fundraising? (A recent US Trust survey of wealthy families found that 1/3rd do impact investing, and 1/3rd of that third said they do it in lieu of giving)
- How do advisors get paid on philanthropy? How do they get paid on impact investing? Any predictions where that will go?
- Will impact investing steal your nonprofit mojo?
- Are children raised in a mall, whose only categories are “own,” “manage,” “buy,” “invest,” and “consume,” and whose social status, identity, and sense of community are confirmed by “likes” and “friends” going to prefer impact investing to deeper and more challenging engagement with a cause?
- Will any rational person prefer sacrificial giving to impact investing when both get results, and confer feel-good bragging rights?
- What is your “competitive advantage” vis a vis impact investing if you are, say, the Catholic Church, Jewish Federation, Georgetown, a soup kitchen?
- In seeking the good, the betterment of humankind, to whom, to what prayer, poem, tradition, or prospectus, do you turn in the dark of the night?
- Heidegger wrote, “We live in society, we dwell in community.” If impact investing lives in the market, in what community do you and your donors dwell?
- If your gift planning is transactional, all about the art of the ask, who do you think is better at sales, you or the investment advisor?
- When income tax and estate tax deductions are eliminated for the highest capacity donors, under Trump, how will you tell a story true enough and compelling enough that the “social investor” is willing to accept a guaranteed 100% loss of his or her funds via a gift, when he or she can get (according to the investment advisor) a market return and greater impact by keeping the money under management for the Greater Glory of God and the Betterment of Humankind in the Bank of Wealth Bondage?
Any thoughts? Further questions?