Smarter Impact

Kimberly Gire - Global Women Leaders Strategic Philanthropy - Start with your passion and get under the hood

March 02, 2020 Kimberly Gire Season 1 Episode 55
Smarter Impact
Kimberly Gire - Global Women Leaders Strategic Philanthropy - Start with your passion and get under the hood
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Smarter Impact
Kimberly Gire - Global Women Leaders Strategic Philanthropy - Start with your passion and get under the hood
Mar 02, 2020 Season 1 Episode 55
Kimberly Gire

Join me for an in-depth discussion with Kimberly Gire, Founder of https://www.globalwomenleaders.org

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 me for an in-depth discussion with Kimberly Gire, Founder of https://www.globalwomenleaders.org

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)

- Philip Bateman, Bravo Charlie here at the Asia Pacific Impact Investment Summit. And I'm here with Kimberly Gire, the founder of the Global Women Leaders Strategic Philanthropy. And Kimberly, you've been at this quite a while. Could you give us a few of the things you're excited about at the moment?

- What I'm really excited about is to be here, home in Australia for this summit. It's really great to see how many people are turning up to demonstrate their commitment to impact. I think it's particularly heartening that we have this full spectrum of impact investors through to structures and also philanthropists. It really is important to keep in mind that to choose the right instrument for the right problem, to make sure that the right money is going to the right place and the best use. And by that I mean, I guess there is still an important place for philanthropy, pure philanthropy. Sometimes that philanthropy can catalyse impact investing. Other times there's a great argument for pure impact investing. It could be a social enterprise that has a good business underpinning it. But it's important to keep all of that in mind and what I try to bring to this, and the group of women and men in my community, is to make sure that we always keep that in mind, that we're structuring the best structure possible, the best solution possible using the toolkit that ranges from impact investing right through to philanthropy.

- And you talked about impartiality in your presentation and I dare say it's in what you were just sharing. Could you talk more to that?

- My background is actually banking and finance, structured finance, so this is a natural fit for me. That being said, I've actually not been a banker for quite a while now, I've been a philanthropist. And trying to bring that neutral lens to suggest ways of doing things, comment on structures, to suggest ways of doing things, comment on structures, come up with new solutions with no bias, no skin in the game in terms of I'm not a consultant, I'm not making money, I'm actually donating my time and my skillset. And I think it's important to have some of the neutral expertise in this space particularly as we're trying to come up with new ways of doing things. Sometimes it's easy to take it maybe too far one way or the other. And I think as long as we keep the people in the centre and as long as we're not structuring for structuring's sake, if I could say that, there's a place for impact investing in many different humanitarian development and climate spaced challenges.

- So people are out there wanting to commit capital to things that matter and people are out there seeking capital to change the world, what do people need to know about the journey to scale and understanding that.

- I think the journey to scale is getting the right partners together. One of the presentations we did here yesterday was on catalytic capital. How can we make sure if a foundation is coming in, for example, to helping on a problem that we are using that money wisely. That that money can be used as leverage in many cases to bring in market based investors. There is a place for a market based return but that may be only able to be possible at scale if you do have a philanthropic public or private money coming in underneath to de-risk, to create first law structures. Investors often require that to come in at scale. If you're going to try to tap pension funds they have their own fiduciary duty, their own investment mandates, there's really not a lot you can do about that but you can attract scale capital with the right instruments if you have the right layers, if you like, underneath. And there's a lot of creative ways to do that. Again, we need people with that kind of skillset coming in to make sure we've thought about the best way to put the structure together and the best use of foundation money, public money, private money and market based returns.

- For the creators and the entrepreneurs out there I know a lot of them potentially burn out on the trying to find money thing. Is that more the complexity of the environment in which they're dealing and they're simply spending their time inefficiently trying to access the capital?

- No, I think it comes down to getting organised. Whenever you build a market, whether it be in the capital markets or in the impact market or in the philanthropy market, this is a big wide world out there and one of the things that my group tries to do is to narrow up that journey for people. We have small social enterprises, we have small NGO's. How are they possibly going to navigate the entire world of philanthropic or investment capital? Creating pockets of expertise or access or connections to make that faster and to have a place to go to ask the question or to ask for help, frankly, that's what we try to do. Try to make sure that people who are at the coal face really getting the work done can spend as much time doing that as possible and have groups like ours who do have connections and skillsets kind of do some of that legwork for them, with them, alongside them as opposed to leaving everybody running around trying to do it over and over again. So we can get more efficient. And I sat in on a great round-table yesterday with the indigenous social enterprises that are here, again offering to see how we can work together to make sure that we're retaining very importantly their culture and their ways of working, but at the same time trying to make it more efficient for them to tell their story to attract investment whether it be philanthropic, more strategic philanthropic money or actually investments into their businesses. So I think that's a great example of just showing that just by getting organised and kind of getting everybody working in their skillsets by working together it will go faster.

- Good point. And you said you're not a white paper person, you're a white board person. Could you talk to that?

- Yes, there is a place for white papers. But I find often when you're building new models and new markets sometimes you can kind of get stuck at that phase or you try to design it perfectly on paper. We've done a lot of that. I think we need more people actually designing around a white board and then maybe doing some of the case study work. Maybe the pendulum's swung a little too far in some of these sectors for getting stuck at that, "we should do this" or "it could look like this," to actually, my experience, most of the issues come out when you actually start working on a transaction and that comes from my background in the private sector. The regulatory issues, the investor issues, the issues that are important to the development or the climate or the social entrepreneur that you're working with come out around actually working together. It's not always perfect but just get started is what I would recommend. That's definitely my bias, white board.

- Yeah, execution versus analysis. What's each of them worth? You talked about the creation of dedicated spaces in centres for excellence about, "let's take this and "not put it down til it's done." Is this the similar ethos, just about getting in there and making it happen?

- Yeah, there was a great example yesterday of a social entrepreneur in the organic farming space. of a social entrepreneur in the organic farming space. Smallholder farmers really doing great work in Fiji, for example, and trying to navigate- this goes back to the getting organised- trying to navigate different regional issues, different pockets of money. Taking those examples to a collective group who could help solve them rather than just bouncing around the system individually. Don't put it down till it's done. His is a great example of how the system is making it really hard for him. He's being encouraged on one hand to do what he's doing and the next minute the system is making it hard. So let's put that problem on the table as a case study and not get up from the table until we've all agreed how we can make it easier for him, because he's doing great work.

- And as a health check on the impact investing industry you've got broad awareness across it. We're here at a conference, lots of excited people, excellent turnout for it, how do you think things are going? What's the future, what challenges does the future hold?

- I think that we're at the stage now where there's been some great testing of putting products on top of structures that already exist of putting products on top of structures that already exist so the microfinance space is an interesting one. My challenge to the group, and part of the conversation here is, how can we do it better? How can we not just attract investment to something that maybe could be done cheaper, could be done with better access, could be done more directly. Do we need all the different intermediaries in the space? How is FinTech coming into the space? Lessons that we're learning from the private sector... if we're trying to make things faster and cheaper in the banking sector, for example, here in Australia, then we should be trying to do the same. And many people are. We should be trying to do the same through impact investing. And so not just packaging up what exists but trying along the way to make sure that we're being more efficient and we're getting a better deal for, in this instance, borrowers on the ground just as we would want for ourselves. We need to work a little harder.

- And if people want to learn about this space and potentially say, "Well, I'm sitting on a large amount of money and I've realised impact, that's a thing. I could be using this for a wide variety of benefit" what would you suggest to them?

- I would suggest to start with an area that you're passionate about. I think the best way to learn about something with any of us is something that genuinely interests us. So if climate is your issue, start looking at some of the different funds that are available or businesses that are trying to have an impact. Somebody came out yesterday, one of the well-to-do tech personalities in Australia one of the well-to-do tech personalities in Australia came out saying that they were going to start deploying a significant amount of capital in climate startups. So pick an area that's important to you. In my case it's humanitarian and development work and get to know it and ask critical questions. Don't accept at face value something that has a, like anything you would buy, a "Climate for Good" label. Get underneath the hood. A lot of what I do is spend my time, given I do have a banking background, looking through documents, info memos, cash flows and making sure that what I'm being told matches what I can see. And if you don't have that skillset yourself then sit down with someone who does and make sure you're asking those questions because there are different levels of "packaged impact" out there and all of them have different purposes but if you're really truly trying to get into this space you're going to have to do some work. You're going to have to educate yourself and so there's some great platforms here in Australia and around the region and around the world that are spending a lot of time on this more critical analysis so be prepared to do a bit of homework.

- And in closing, if there's one thing you wanted people to know about the Global Women Leaders Strategic Philanthropy what would you tell them?

- What I would say is we're a community, we're not an institution. This started from my own personal journey of wanting to give back in a manner that went well beyond my capacity financially to give. My skillset I see as a real asset that I feel very blessed to have had a great career in banking and finance and it's something that I can contribute and that is echoed, I think, in the people who come into our community. They're looking for a way to make impact and philanthropy part of their lives. People don't want to bolt it on the side anymore it's the way we want to live and so if you are interested in learning how you might do that and the different ways that our community does that I would encourage you to reach out to me and I'd be happy to chat to you about it.

- Thank you so much for your time and your work.

- Thank you.