Smarter Impact

Dr Stephanie Gripne - Impact Finance Centre - Moving 1 Trillion USD to Impact & Trickle Up Economics

November 02, 2019 Dr Stephanie Gripne Season 1 Episode 53
Smarter Impact
Dr Stephanie Gripne - Impact Finance Centre - Moving 1 Trillion USD to Impact & Trickle Up Economics
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Smarter Impact
Dr Stephanie Gripne - Impact Finance Centre - Moving 1 Trillion USD to Impact & Trickle Up Economics
Nov 02, 2019 Season 1 Episode 53
Dr Stephanie Gripne

Join Dr Stephanie Gripne and Philip Bateman from Denver Colorado, for an indepth discussion on all things Impact Investing and transforming our society.

Discover more at https://www.impactfinancecenter.org | https://www.linkedin.com/company/impa... | https://www.facebook.com/impinvinstit...

If you enjoyed this content, please give it a like, leave a comment, subscribe for more and share the video - it really means a lot to see your support coming in :)

Smarter Impact is hosted by http://linkedin.com/in/philipbateman and produced by http://bravocharlie.global

Bravo Charlie specialise in targeted video communication for impact investors and their portfolios, using marketing, business development, investing and production skills to engage stakeholders and amplify returns.

At the apex of social change, we exist as the possibility of world leaders in business, politics and society being engaging, powerful communicators, and work to accelerate the transition of our world into a more environmentally aware, sustainable and loving place.

Our best work is done with companies at a tipping point, with strong offerings, ready to launch into the next stage of their greatness.  The outcomes of our effort are a more harmonious society, empowering people with the resources and capabilities to lead good lives.

We specialise in:

- Documenting your Impact Measurement and Management
- Making complex businesses and technologies simple to understand
- Coaching senior executives to deliver at their best on camera
- Creating compelling pitches and content, to support Seed/series funding and IPOs
- Crafting digital marketing systems, engagement and growth strategies
- Capturing the passion of your team and clients

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/SmarterImpact)

Show Notes Transcript

Join Dr Stephanie Gripne and Philip Bateman from Denver Colorado, for an indepth discussion on all things Impact Investing and transforming our society.

Discover more at https://www.impactfinancecenter.org | https://www.linkedin.com/company/impa... | https://www.facebook.com/impinvinstit...

If you enjoyed this content, please give it a like, leave a comment, subscribe for more and share the video - it really means a lot to see your support coming in :)

Smarter Impact is hosted by http://linkedin.com/in/philipbateman and produced by http://bravocharlie.global

Bravo Charlie specialise in targeted video communication for impact investors and their portfolios, using marketing, business development, investing and production skills to engage stakeholders and amplify returns.

At the apex of social change, we exist as the possibility of world leaders in business, politics and society being engaging, powerful communicators, and work to accelerate the transition of our world into a more environmentally aware, sustainable and loving place.

Our best work is done with companies at a tipping point, with strong offerings, ready to launch into the next stage of their greatness.  The outcomes of our effort are a more harmonious society, empowering people with the resources and capabilities to lead good lives.

We specialise in:

- Documenting your Impact Measurement and Management
- Making complex businesses and technologies simple to understand
- Coaching senior executives to deliver at their best on camera
- Creating compelling pitches and content, to support Seed/series funding and IPOs
- Crafting digital marketing systems, engagement and growth strategies
- Capturing the passion of your team and clients

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/SmarterImpact)

- Thanks for joining us and welcome to the interview. My name's Philip Bateman from Bravo Charlie. And I'm here with Dr. Stephanie Gripne, who's been referred to by Forbes Magazine as the Steve Jobs of impact investing. And Stephanie's on a mission to move one trillion US dollars into impact ventures. As the macro trends of global capital movement, environmental awareness and a technologically-enmeshed society converge, now is the time for radical action. And I'm really excited that after 11 years with Bravo Charlie, about a hundred projects and 2,000 pieces of content, the new focus for the company is targeted video communication for impact investors and their portfolio. Which is why I'm here in Denver, Colorado with Dr. Gripne. Stephanie, moving a hundred or moving a trillion dollars into impact investing, what does that look like on the ground?

- That's a great question. Over the past three years, we have piloted the first ever statewide, so the geography of one state double-sided marketplace for impact investing. And over that course of the three years, we had a goal to catalyse $100 million. We knew if we could get to $100 million, we could start talking about how you scale a product at the billion dollar level. And I'm happy to report, we did 200 education events on the ground, in one single state, the state of Colorado and we sourced 500 projects, non-profits, small businesses, startups, funds, co-ops, tandem hybrid organisations. But more importantly we identified, educated and activated close to 50 new impact investors and those were individuals, private foundations, community foundations, donor-advised fund holders and corporations. And then every 18 months we'd bring everybody together in essentially a double-sided farmers' market. And we would introduce the investors to the investment opportunities, to social ventures, And we blew it out of the water. We catalysed about $260 million of investment right now into 260 investments. And so we easily hit our goal of moving a hundred million dollars.

- And to take it back to basics, how do you define a social impact venture?

- So we define that by anybody that has an entity, that is doing well by doing good. So it doesn't matter if you're a non-profit, where you are trying to refinance your building or start a social enterprise or make an asset more efficient or you're a small business that's trying to make the world a better place or a startup that's actually trying to grow a tech SaaS play but you're trying to do so in a way that's solving the social problems, such as Silvernest that connects the ageing population to housemates for additional income, companionship and help around the house.

- And we're sitting here in Prodigy Coffee. Can you tell us about this place?

- Yes. Prodigy Coffee is a social enterprise in Denver. And the Denver Foundation is a community foundation. And I served on the impact investment committee. And we made an investment, a loan into Prodigy Coffee that trains youth of Denver, Colorado how to run a coffee business and work in a coffee business and actually run it. So it's a workforce training job for some of the most vulnerable kids of our community.

- And traditionally, I was always thinking of investment opportunities as startups, as businesses ready to go. And based on our conversation on the table out there, it seems that you've unlocked a whole new way of moving capital into organisations such as non-profits that care or anybody really.

- Absolutely.

- Can you tell me more about that?

- Yes, part of our success - most people might be surprised but the two big successes with the Impact Finance Centre, we are a non-profit multi-university academic center - were two non-profits. One was our local Museum of Contemporary Art. They had a mortgage that was going to expire and we helped give them the strategy that they executed. And they were able to get a foundation and two individuals to do a 1% loan. In the case of the foundation, it was money that they were going to give away which we would say would have a negative 100% financial return. So they were taking money, they were going to give away in a grant. They did a 1% loan, got a 101% return. That 1% saving, saved the Museum of Contemporary Art $565,000 a year. That's as if you're giving it an unrestricted operating grant of over half a million dollars. Also, I led from design to construction, the Alliance Centre. It was a non-profit, shared space. And it's a historic building renovation. We were short $6 million. And so I worked with the donor and we opened up a donor-advised fund at the Denver Foundation and asked them to allow us to make a loan to that non-profit that allowed us also to do a historic tax credit. Those combined investments saved us $6 million and gave the donor a 101% return plus a tax deduction. So yes, we believe that in Colorado alone, there's probably $50 billion of impact investment opportunities just on assets like buildings that you can make more efficient, not to mention the social enterprises.

- And you started this in 2012. We're seven years on now.

- Yeah.

- What would you do differently, now you know what you know?

- Oh that's a great question. I think the easiest way to answer that is since we wrapped up our three year pilot with Colorado Impact Days, we've had about 15 requests from around the world that have said, "Stephanie, we're in Johannesburg" or Serbia or Vancouver or Boise or Sao Paolo. "We want to do Impact Days." And so for most of these people from the outside, they're looking at Impact Days as kind of the best of startup week meets a GIPS day, so really public infrastructure. And we say "Don't do what we did. Don't do 200 educational classes and kind of build it as you come." We're going to give you Impact Days in a box. So start with an impact investing giving circle. The key is to identify, educate and activate the investors to invest in these non-profits and for-profits. So train about 40 investors and partnership with the community foundation. We will give you the glossy, an example grant. We will support you on that effort. and then just so you know, we're taking our 200 education events that we delivered in person and we're putting them online and creating the Impact Investing Institute. So if you call us three years from now our hope, we'll give you a manual to start Sao Paolo Impact Days. We will give you a licence to our institute. And we'll hopefully give you a seed grant. So whether you want to start Sao Paolo Impact Days, Brazil Impact Days or South America Impact Days. We'll try to give you the infrastructure in a box.

- And what can people do to support you in accelerating that process?

- That's a great question. Two things. We are still a non-profit rolling off the social enterprise. So we are interested in raising gift capital, grant capital, sponsorship capital, as well as loans to do this work. We're essentially going to create an impact education, tech SaaS play that's sliding scale social justice. So we'll charge market rate to those that can afford it and for those entities that want to access our education, we'll provide a sliding scale scholarship to allow them to get access to that education.

- I know one of the comments I saw on your Impact Finance Centre, was a testimonial about you not having your hand in the pocket, in relation to providing investment advice. How does that stack with what you just told me?

- That's a great question. One, we don't provide any investment advice. We're not registered by the SEC. And to that point, if you start asking, go ask anybody you meet and ask them, Where does an individual or organisation especially over $10 million, go to get non-conflicted education? Who doesn't have a conflict with the entity? What do we mean by that? Somebody that isn't trying to actually earn their business and manage those assets, whether it's philanthropic assets or the investment assets. So we think there needs to be more non-conflicted education providers. That's why we're structurally designed as a non-profit. So we're doing investor education, not advice. So that means that we don't have a conflict of interest with the individual or the organisation actually doing the investing.

- And as we talk about education, I know you're also doing a piece to catalyse more youth awareness of the fact that they can grow businesses. What was the hole you saw between Community College and Ivy League business schools?

- That's also a wonderful question. When I was looking around the United States. I'm still looking for this number, if somebody can tell me. How many entrepreneurship centres there are? Whether you're at a university, a college, a community college, and my estimate is there's about 600 of those. And so back in 2012, Matt Bannick and Paula Goldman of the Omidyar Network, wrote a paper and they said it's as if the impact investors are waiting around the proverbial water pump for the flood of deals to flow but nobody wants to prime the pump. Meaning that somebody had to go train the non-profits and for-profits about how to do, that they had investments. And our point is, don't prime the pump and get the entrepreneurs excited if you're not going to prime the pump on the money. You've got to do that same infrastructure investment. And so, when I left University of Colorado as a professor in 2012, I was like, if we have 600 entrepreneurship centres, we need 600 innovative financial centres within those universities. Impact investing centres that are going to identify, educate and activate that capital to actually invest in those social entrepreneurs. So the Impact Finance Centre is designed to be a non-profit, multi-university academic centre where we'll licence our content to any university that wants access to that education around the world.

- And that education you're providing for the investors through the universities.

- We do. The education both inside the universities and outside the universities.

- So it's not for the entrepreneurs--

- We have classes for the entrepreneurs, the non-profits and for-profits. In that, non-profits don't realise that they have investments within them.

- Can you expand on that?

- Yes. So you talk about a typical non-profit, Mount Humane is one I just was visiting in my hometown in Idaho and it's a no-kill shelter. And so there's lots of investment opportunities within Mount Humane. It's actually a physical building. So you could actually invest in the mortgage and refinance it at a lower rate. It doesn't take rocket science to say, if you take a $5 million mortgage at 6% and you refinance it at 2% you're going to save that non-profit millions of dollars. They might also have a line of credit. In this case, they provide affordable housing for their workers that work there. You could actually invest in the building renovation to make the affordable housing better. So when you think of non-profits, I think of them generally having opportunities to finance or refinance debt like a line of credit, a mortgage, make an asset more efficient, launch or grow a social enterprise or do a "pay as you save" social impact bond. Where they're bringing investment capital to implement an intervention where the long term beneficiaries would come back and pay back and reimburse those savings.

- My experience of meeting social justice organisations or the people who found them and work in them is that they are so far away from financial awareness, in relation to the management and the scaling of the organisation around the financial structuring of it. And I noted in the 2019 Global Impact Investors Survey, they said, credible knowledge of financial instrumentation is the lacking thing in the market place. We need more people who know about finance. And so, is there a space for people who aren't traditionally in finance, in investing to move with the wave of millennial desire to work in organisations that care and come into this space and start advising these not-for-profits on access to this capital? Because what we're talking about here isn't in the management teams of these organisations.

- Absolutely. It actually goes both directions. For example, I'm talking to a group of donors about investing into a for-profit startup, I'll typically get the response, "Stephanie, I'm a donor not an investor." Even though they have significant assets. And I'll say, let's take Silvernest, we talked about that for a second. It's an online technology company to connect the ageing population for housemates for additional income, companionship and help around the house. So we'd like to say it's ARP meets Match.com meets Airbnb. And the whole concept about that is, it's a tech SaaS play but it has a lot of impact areas. It's women-led, it's aging, intergenerational connectivity, affordable housing, economic development. If I happen to ask a typical donor to invest in that startup they'll say, "Stephanie, I'm a donor, I'm not an investor." And then I'll say, "Could we pretend it's a non-profit for a minute?" and they would say, "Well sure, I guess so." and I would say, "Would you do a $25,000 donation?" and they'd say, "Yes, I would." and I said, "Let's unpack that for a minute." For some reason we give non-profits our highest risk capital. And then the very successful entrepreneurs who serve on these boards, don't allow them to take risk. They have to be cash on cash. They're not allowed to fail. They're not allowed to leverage and take on growth capital. And then you switch over to those entrepreneurs, 85% of the time, they're going to give you a non-profit grant return of negative 100% financial return. And they don't even have to make the world a better place. And they're allowed to risk, and fail. They don't have to be cash on cash. You do have a 10-15% chance of getting your money back.

- Yeah.

- And so I feel like there's a third way. What happens if we take the best of the non-profit folks and we combine it with the best of the for-profit folks and we create a third pathway that allows us to take high risk, take our highest risk capital and use the best parts of the for-profit world with the best parts of the non-profit world? So I think it's a intermixing of the two.

- Beneficial organisations that can take risks, & can scale rapidly because they're there for a purpose.

- Absolutely.

- Yeah.

- Yeah.

- And tell us about 10X and whaling ships.

- Oh, Ross Baird wrote a book, The Innovation Blind Spot. Highly recommend it. And it's interesting because-- a friend of mine told me, the angel investment is the only investment that starts with a mutual lie. The investors know you're not going to get to 10X and the social ventures, the startups know that they're not going to get to 10X either. And so then you start asking, "Wait why are we even shooting towards 10X return?" And if you ask a typical person they would say, Well if we're investing in ten entities and only one's going to do really well, we have to get that level of return in order for that risk. And it's like, wait, why are we shooting for one thing to be successful out of ten? What if eight things were successful out of ten? Well that might take a different type of capital. And so you unpack and go "the 10X concept actually came from whaling ships", I believe, in the 1500s. And so as monarchs and monarchies and the elite would send out whaling ships. It was too expensive for them all to own one of them given that only one out of ten or two out of ten would come back with an actual whale. And so they did fractional ownership of the whaling ships. And so we have that legacy concept of 10X that we've now adopted that drives all of our economy if you're a startup. There's not buckets of 8X money or 6X money or 5X money walking around. And I want to give a shout out to our colleagues in Oregon that created the Zebra paper that said, "Zebras fix what unicorns break." And they really started to question, Why 10X? "Why not 10 percent?"

- Yeah

- And I'm happy to report, we just went live with our SOCAP podcast with Teresa Ish of the Walton Family Foundation, this week. She was our pilot Impact Finance Centre fellow. And she just did a negative 50% return of investment to a for-profit sustainable seafood company, which out of her negative 100% grant dollars, Which we would argue is an above market rate investment for her because she's going to get a 50% return on her money versus a negative 100% return on her money. And so we've kind of flipped that next generation of that Zebra paper that says, If angels invest in unicorns, do heroes invest in race horses? And what about the champions and the catalysts? With the notion that we need full spectrum aligned capital. That if a startup or a small business or a non-profit has a good idea, we should be able to give them the aligned capital that matches what that financial return, impact, risk and liquidity is. Not have to force it to fit into a 10X box.

- In the Global Impact Industry Network, they talked about accelerating the development of a coherent impact invested industry. In your experience, where is the dissonance and the immaturity in the market place? What are the top three challenges for it in the next five years?

- I believe right now that most of Wall Street was trained very well to be trained in silos. And the innovation in Wall Street is right now coming from those of us that weren't trained in Wall Street that look at it as a system that has pipes that are either broken or need to be re-wired. And I believe that the innovation is going to come around a couple areas, place-based impact investing and direct investing. But the most important work that we do at the Impact Finance Centre is actually around governance and bringing best practises of sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and endowments at the 20 plus billion dollar level down to Main Street. And so we've recently evaluated a hundred million dollar foundation and more recently a fifteen million dollar foundation. And essentially in the hundred million dollar foundation found that they were spending an extra one million dollars in fees over five years to lose five million dollars. And so basically, through that process we've realised whether you're an individual or an organisation, most of us have abdicated our investment beliefs, how we believe our money should be managed - not only around values, but fees and financial markets - to Wall Street and it's time for us to take that back. And once we take that back and decide what are the rules of the road of how we want our money managed. You can actually architect a solution that gives you the same if not better financial return, risk and liquidity but now a positive impact aligned with your values.

- Which brings us to, "trickle up economics" to quote Andrew Yang and Main Street 2.0.

- Yes, Main Street 2.0 is a fun story. It came about around a year ago, I was in Duluth, Minnesota completing my first half marathon and my college room mates and our friends said, "Can you meet our former Mayor?" And his name is Don Ness. And he's now running a 35 million dollar private family foundation. And he said, "Stephanie." He's like, "I know how to be Mayor but I don't know how to run a private family foundation." And I said, "Okay Don, tell me about it." And he told me about it. They give away about 1.3 million to excellent non-profits but the same non-profits for the same 10 years serving human services. And about 33 and a half million annually is invested in Wall Street. And I said, "Don, if you work with the Impact Finance Centre, we have 47 tools. So we can get at least 20 of your 35 million invested back into Duluth, Minnesota with the same, if not better financial return, risk and liquidity and make sure the other 15 million isn't harming Duluth. But what we really want to do is work with you to identity the other 500 individuals and organisations with say more than five million dollars who also care about Duluth, Minnesota. And then because at least in the US, we've lost community banking; the old fashioned relationship banking. So we're going to have to take some of your grant dollars and we're going to create a 0% student loan programme and an alternative payday lending programme, so people can borrow money at 8% and the student loan programme would be at 0%. We can create a non-profit grant advanced model, where if the non-profit is going to get a grant assigned to it in eight months, that they can turn it over to an entity and get access to it immediately for cash flow. We have a Main Street character loan programme, run by an Australian in Colorado, Mike O'Donnell. And you can go get access if you have a good idea, good character, bad or no credit, up to $50 thousand for a small business. And it's a guaranteed 3% return. So we can bring that product up to Duluth, Minnesota. And then we're going to have to grow investors. So we'll create a Duluth community note and a Duluth impact investing giving circle and a Duluth investment club and a Duluth guarantee model. And then here's the Main Street 2.0 piece, I'll say, "Don, we don't want my Great Aunt Jan taking her last money in her IRA out of global markets and investing it back into Duluth, Minnesota without insuring she's going to get the same if not better financial return, risk, liquidity and now a positive impact." And so we have to create safety net product and that's a good use of your philanthropic capital to create guarantees, loan loss reserves and custom insurance. So that if she takes her money out of global markets and actually invests in a Prodigy Coffeehouse say in Duluth, Minnesota or an affordable housing project, that she's going to be essentially insured that she's going to get the same if not better financial return. Except now not knowing where her money is going and what the impact is, she'll be able to go touch and feel it back in Main Street 2.0. So we say Main Street 2.0 is basically going back to the olden days, taking the best of Main Street but bringing the Wall Street math so we price risk and insure that people can invest locally with getting the same if not better financial return.

- And that investment, that insurance is possible because by and large the sector as a whole is a profitable return.

- Absolutely. Especially when you start dealing with full spectrum capital. So if you look at what the financial return, impact, risk and liquidity is, and so it turns out if you actually look at micro-financing as a whole, the default rate is pretty good.

- Yeah, it's tiny but all my investments in Kiva--

- Absolutely! It's done well. You take a student-- Let's take student loans for example in the state of Colorado. We have 39 higher education institutions and at least a couple of years ago, the lowest default rate was 12%. So if you're doing money out of your negative 100% money, that's a 88% return on your money plus the tax deduction. And the point is we can price that. We can understand, "Okay, if that's the risk--" We can actually set aside money. Then say, "Great. If an investor's going to invest in this the philanthropic capital will pay for that default." And ensure that the person's going to get the same if not better financial return. That's a good use of philanthropic capital to actually de-risk retail investors to invest in their own community.

- Can you talk to me about the transaction speed of what you've achieved in the first three years? I believe you did two and then it--

- Yeah so it did. There's an analogy that somebody's said it's like paddling an iceberg with flippers on? It takes a long time to get the iceberg moving. And so like I said, from 2010 to 12, the Impact Finance Centre supported two non-profit transactions and it took us three years to get those transactions done. Of the 40 plus close to 50 new impact investors that we identified, educated and activated, most of them are on their sixth, seventh to eighth, ninth, tenth investment right now. Which means they're not even checking with us anymore when they do an investment. So I'm pretty sure the last 100 transactions have taken about three to six months. And we're in 2019 right now. So it took doing those 200 education events and actually activating enough people within the community to invest locally and prove that they could get the same if not better financial return and risk and liquidity.

- What percentage of the deal flow have you got in Colorado?

- Oh, I'd like to tell people, let's just say 500 plus transactions we sourced over three years. If we got 10%, you know that means there's 50,000 transactions. But I'm sure we only got 1% of the deal flow. So if look at, for example, a school or a museum art building, we believe that there's about $16 billion of school facilities in Colorado, another 15 million of health clinics in Colorado and then another 10 to 15 million of non-profit buildings. So really easily, that's just looking at one slice of debt in the non-profit sector we essentially believe there's close to $50 billion of deal flow. And you can take that same math and go for small businesses, startups, social enterprises. So we believe that we got 1% of the deal flow.

- So this is a really accessible way for people with assets and finance to take their money from traditional investment funds and put it back into the place they live.

- It is, absolutely. And the tricky part is, how does Wall Street get paid to do this? Because the reason is actually, what's stood up is because our non-profit took a risk and we risked a lot of our personal money to actually do this. People don't get paid to do these small high-risk transactions. And so how do we come together and develop this infrastructure so we can have a sliding scale broker dealer because we know the deals are there? We know the money is there. So how do we incent Wall Street to actually grow and invest, to basically get paid to actually help an individual organisation invest locally?

- You've just answered what are some of the furphies around the space. No deal flow being one of them. Are there others? That are there that people sort of, they say these things that really don't have any validity to them?

- I think-- How about this, a new problem we have is-- Let's say I become a new impact investor. Let's say I get activated from that perspective. There's not a place for me to go, to get a concierge service to help me guide myself though the space. So I will now be approached by 30 to 40 organisations with investment opportunities or to join their club. And versus that we actually need to basically grow investor clubs. And those need to be small peer groups where people can have trusted access with a concierge that says, "Hey I want to learn how to invest in non-profits this year. Can you help me learn how to get access to that deal flow, meet the people I need to meet and actually do those investments?" Versus "I want to learn how to invest in startups this year." So right now don't have the infrastructure in place as we're growing these new investors to give them kind of a seamless experience. We're kind of putting them in the middle of the lake and asking them to swim.

- Yeah. And taking your education, applying it to the existing angel groups? That wouldn't be a good place? Or is the capital variation massive compared to what we're talking about?

- So when we look at-- If you look at a hundred million dollar portfolio--

- They're not angel investors.

- What percentage of a hundred million dollar portfolio is angel investments?

- Six, seven percent?

- Maybe

- Yeah

- Like, I would be shocked. I would bet of an angel a hundred million dollar typical portfolio probably a half to--

- 1%

- 1% right?

- Yeah

- And so those who are trained in one little sliver of that hundred million versus the concierge needs to basically understand debt and equity and venture and non-profits and for-profits. And so, could angel clubs expand to actually provide that non-conflicted education across the whole portfolio? Absolutely they could.

- It may not be relevant to their members.

- But that is not their expertise.

- Yeah

- But I'd like to know even angel investors have more than just angel investing in their portfolio. You wouldn't think they would based on how they respond but they do

- What can you give me right now if I wanted to do an Impact Day?

- Yeah. When somebody calls and says, "We want to do Impact Days right now." What do we tell them to do? We say, "We've just piloted--" We've left Impact Days and we said, "We need to grow investors faster, more efficiently. How do we do it?" We have an individual method, our fellowship programme and then we have a group fellowship or the first investor accelerator called the impact investing giving circle. And this is what we recommend for anybody that wants to start their own Impact Days. And you can contact us, we'll happily give you an example. Grant, a glossy, support you in doing this. An impact investing giving circle is a T-ball or a little league. A first example for investors or donors to learn how to do their first three to five direct investments for as little as a $2,000 donation. It's social. It's fun. They learn 50 plus ways to activate their portfolio. They get to bring their pet social ventures to the table. Unlike another giving circle, there's a small chance some of the money will come back. They're not granting it away. They're doing loans and equity investments. If it does, they'll recycle it and do it again. So that allows an individual organisation to do their first three to five direct investments in a low cost, safe, fun way. And so we're really bullish on investor clubs kind of being the solution, not funds. Recently large organisations have contacted us and said, "Can you help us with investors?" And we'll say, "We might have two or three or four but there's not enough investors activated in the space to give you the type of investment flow that you actually want. If you really want to grow investors, we'll work with you for three to five years and grow investor clubs with the starter kit of the impact investing giving circle." So that's what we would recommend. Start your own impact investing giving circle. If you have a local community foundation, they know how to run a giving circle and you can do it by a geography. You can do it by a community of interests like sustainable food systems or you can do it by identity; women, people of colour, veterans. In the case of Colorado, we're piloting the first ever impact investing giving circle with the Women's Foundation of Colorado. So it just started last month. Then we have 36 women who will go through a nine month process to learn how to do their first three to five direct investments. As well as the 50 plus ways they can activate their portfolio to support women.

- Amazing.

- Yeah it's fun. For people out there who have access to capital, who have been investing it traditionally for a long time, if there's one thing you wanted them to know about impact investing, what would you tell them?

- Couple of things. You already are doing impact investing the way we define it. There are positive and negative impacts of every single investment we do. For me, impact investing is just being explicit about what those investments are. So if somebody tells you that you're going to have to give up financial return. If somebody says, "You don't want to go this direction." You're probably not with the right person giving you advice. And so, one of the key tools we're going to have over the next decade is just a simple evaluation of your money. Whether it's an endowment, your investment advisor, find a non-conflicting entity to come do an investment advisor evaluation. And have them look at costs, fees, governance and impact. And give you a non-conflicted assessment of, "Are you with the right person on your team?" or "Do you have the right person on your team?"

- And if there's one thing you wanted people in the world to know about the Impact Finance Centre, what would you tell them?

- All the pieces are on the table for us to move a trillion dollars. We just have to work together to actually develop this public infrastructure and scale it. So if you want to be a part of this larger system, and to be a leader in your local community, please contact us because we now believe that we have all the pieces of the puzzle on the table. We just have to get the resources and execute. So it's exciting times to be a part of us. So contact us. If we can support you in any way, we will.

- All right. Is there anything I haven't asked that you would like to talk to?

- I would like to ask how you learned about us? And how you found yourself in Colorado?

- I learned about you by typing in-- Well, I looked at the impact investment survey by the Global Impact Investment Network. And when I decided that impact investing was what I wanted to focus my whole life around as I'm really here to peel back the veil on the goodness of humanity and amplify it, impact investing is the obvious way to do that; telling those stories. And so I looked up the Global Impact Investment Network. I looked up the Asia Pacific Impact Summit and then I took all the logos and handed it to my graphic designer and said re-brand us so we look like the kind of people these people want to work with. And then looked you up on LinkedIn. And said, hi. I'm coming to Colorado because I'm meeting a friend and we're driving through to Burning Man. Because I come to America every year for that.

- That's wonderful. The last little hack I'll say that we haven't found the CFO ready to go on this journey with us but we're close. Let's say I am talking to a foundation with $500 million and the CFO would say to me, "Stephanie, but I have to earn a 7% risk adjusted return on that 500 million so that my programme officers can give away 50 million. And I would say, "Well, what's your financial return right now?" And they would say, "7%." And let's say they care about, Melbourne. It's a $500 million foundation in Melbourne. And I would say what if I can give you an 8% return to keep that money in Melbourne and they would say, "Well, what do you mean?" I said, "Well tell me something you're giving away that $1 million to, that grant money." And they would say, "Workforce housing."

- Yeah.

- And I'd say, "Okay. Well let's take 1 million that you were going to give away in workforce housing, a negative 100% return in your own money, 1 million you're going to give an 8% return, 1 million will give you an 8% return out of your endowment and we'll re-unite that money. Now you'll have 2 million and the blended rate of return of a million at negative 100% and a million at eight is negative 46.5% return."

- Yeah

- You can do a lot of workforce housing. If for every dollar you give out, you only have to get 54 cents back.

- Yeah.

- And so that's the point of what we'd like to say is like, if we have a systems approach and financial hacking, we actually have the money to invest in ourselves. If we learn to get out of our own way and solve the math.

- Because if I pick a geography and an area of interest and have an amount of money that I'm currently giving. You're all capable of identifying places to put that money which gives me a much more positive return than minus 100%.

- Absolutely.

- Great.

- Yeah. I am without a doubt convinced that we can give whether your non-accredited or accredited investor, find areas for you to get the same if not better financial return and the impact that's aligned with your values.

- There you go. If you want to have impact that aligns with your values, If you want to have impact that aligns with your values, you've just heard how to get it done. Thanks so much for watching and thank you for your time.

- Thank you for joining.