Detroit’s New Economy Initiative Receives More Than $33 Million In New Funding From National, Regional And Local Foundations

NEI to continue success in transformation of Southeast Michigan through support of entrepreneurs

Ten national, regional and local foundations have committed $33.25 million in new funding to continue the work of the New Economy Initiative (NEI). NEI launched in 2008 when ten foundations came together to form a unique $100 million philanthropic initiative to address economic issues in Southeast Michigan. NEI, which is a special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), will now have funding to support its efforts over the next three years to not only foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, but also build a network of support for entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the Detroit region.

Read Article

Why Program-Related Investments Are Not Risky Business

Program-related investments (PRIs) hold incredible potential for the social enterprise arena. Rather than giving away money through grants, PRIs allow foundations to make investments as loans or equity stakes in the hopes of regaining their investments plus a reasonable rate of return. This arrangement allows foundations to increase the amount of money available to the social sector, while simultaneously building stronger and more sustainable socially minded entities.

As part of a broader strategy involving impact investing and the market-based solutions of target recipients, PRIs stand to tackle tough social issues on a scale never before seen by moving beyond traditional notions of charity that, in many ways, continue to restrain large-scale progress.

Read Article

Going Beyond the Grant

Momentum is picking up for investments that can produce a financial return while improving social conditions, as pressure persists on traditional funding sources and the ranks of social entrepreneurs increase.

Rising interest in so-called impact investing has many foundations either already making investments or considering them as an extension of their traditional philanthropy or grant-making.

Foundations such as Kresge are making program-related investments from their grant budgets for below-market or zero-percent returns. Those can take the form of loans, equity stakes, loan guarantees in which foundations agree to back other loans, and cash investments.

Read Article

Fisher Seeks Investors Who Want to Make a Social Impact

Phillip Fisher plans to create a fund to work on social issues and support social entrepreneurs.

What if money invested in organizations working to improve social conditions could be redeployed over and over, while providing a financial and social-impact return for those supporting the work? The concept isn’t new; a few large foundations have been making investments—in addition to grants—in work related to their missions for years. But Phillip Fisher, founder of Mission Throttle L3C and vice chairman of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Family Foundation, hopes to attract a new class of investors, from individuals to corporations and government, to support Michigan-based social-impact efforts and social entrepreneurs through investments in a new social-impact fund that he hopes will attract $10 million to $50 million. That, experts say, is a game changer.

Read Article