Community Foundations Pursue Impact Investments to Build Local Economies

by The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Say you’re the new leader of a community foundation in a tourism-dependent town. It’s a beautiful place, but its economy produces some ugly inequalities: More than half the housing serves as second homes or vacation rentals for out-of-towners. The median home price is $540,000. It’s the sixth-most expensive area in the country in which to live. Yet median incomes across the region have dropped since 2000.
To Stacy Caldwell, CEO of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, the solution was obvious: Start investing some of the foundation’s $25 million in assets in enterprises that would help locals thrive year-round. But that solution flew in the face of 100 years of common practice among community foundations: Invest endowments in Wall Street and spin off a small portion of the earnings for local grant making.
Read more in this Chronicle of Philanthropy article how Community Foundations in the BALLE – RSF Community Foundation Circle are shifting their investing from Wall Street to Main Street and in doing so furthering their missions.