Phillips Foundation leverages its full endowment for good through impact investing. To meet our commitment to 100% impact, we utilize a variety of tools including Program-Related Investments (PRIs), Mission-Related Investments (MRIs), ESG Screens, Fund Manager Selection Criteria, and other direct and indirect investment vehicles. Additionally, we host events to educate fellow funders and nonprofits about impact investing and to galvanize support for collective efforts such as pay for success contracting. Information about our Impact Investing Think Tank series may be found here.
Our first direct impact investment was made in 2014 and was repaid early upon achieving significant success. With the backing of our mission-related investment (MRI), Akola Project, a nonprofit social business, doubled the number of women it empowers, expanded production capacity, and secured an additional round of growth capital to support continued scaling of the organization’s impact. A brief on this investment may be found here.
The Foundation provided a PRI credit enhancement for a remodeling project to increase operational capacity and earned revenue for this downtown Greensboro attraction, creating future financial sustainability for the non-profit.
We use cash management strategies that benefit community development through investments to support women and children and environmentally-responsible small businesses. Self-Help Credit Union’s Women & Children CD provides support to women building assets by opening their first savings accounts, buying homes or starting businesses and also lends to child-care providers and finances facilities for public charter schools. The Self-Help Green CD provides loans to sustainable businesses including solar farms, recycling businesses, ecotourism, bike shops and more.
The Foundation made a MRI in MCE Social Capital (MCE) to support its Global Economic Opportunity Notes. MCE makes loans to financial institutions helping people living in poverty in developing nations to improve their lives. Loans to microfinance institutions provide credit and other services including health education, business training, savings accounts and insurance. Approximately 71% of the beneficiaries are women who use the financial services to build assets and businesses, manage risks, smooth income, and gain freedom to decide how to earn a living. MCE’s notes also support financial institutions that provide specialized financing for agriculture and the deployment of solar energy systems in impoverished areas.