Coalition of Foundations and Family Offices Launch the Tipping Point Fund to Scale the Impact Investing Field
Blue Haven Initiative, Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Omidyar Network will anchor the $12.5 million pool of philanthropic capital
NEW YORK, NY – December 5, 2019 – Leaders from the foundation and family office communities today announced the launch of the Tipping Point Fund (“TPF”), a first-of-its-kind donor collaborative geared towards scaling the practice of impact investing. With $12.5 million in initial funding, the TPF will make strategic grants to support the creation and development of critical market infrastructure that is necessary to maintain the continued growth—and more importantly, the integrity—of the impact investing market.
The TPF will expand on existing field building efforts by prioritizing the areas best suited for collective action but that are unlikely to be funded through market activity alone. To uncover the challenges and barriers that could prevent the market from scaling, a coalition of industry leaders convened by the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance conducted an in-depth analysis of the impact investing industry. Based on this analysis, the group identified two key areas that represent critical field building functions that have received limited financial support to-date and therefore are appropriate for TPF grants.
- Public engagement and policy (e.g., communications campaigns, policy advocacy and implementation) to enable or encourage more investors to enter the market
- Data, metrics and measurement (e.g., standard impact measurement and management fundamentals, data interoperability) to provide greater clarity to market actors and ensure high standards of impact accountability
As a pooled grant fund, the TPF takes a collaborative approach to grantmaking and field building, which encourages funders to agree on a cohesive vision and strategy for scaling the impact investing industry. The TPF also provides an entry point for those new to field building, thereby broadening the coalition of funders and driving more private capital towards solutions with the potential to address today’s most pressing global challenges.
“The impact investing industry is where it is today thanks to the critical work of early field builders and funders. However, in order for this market to scale and meet the needs of today’s world, we must take a more collaborative approach that brings together the financial and intellectual resources of those who are committed to growing this field with integrity,” said Fran Seegull, Executive Director of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, which facilitated the co-design of the TPF and will assist in managing its operations on behalf of funders.
Several of the funders also commented on the significance of the TPF launch, including:
Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation: “The Tipping Point Fund is a clarion call to action for those who are committed to the sustainability and well-being of the impact investing market. While we are pleased to welcome so many new entrants to this space and to witness the surge in capital invested for impact, there is also a shared obligation to support the field in order to close these critical market gaps.”
Mike Kubzansky, CEO of the Omidyar Network: “Impact investing has experienced remarkable growth over the past decade, but further scale requires continued investment in public goods that provide a foundation for all market players. The Tipping Point Fund is uniquely positioned to do just that, and will work with a wide range of stakeholders to protect the fidelity of the industry, ensuring that we collectively keep impact front and center.”
Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Principal of Blue Haven Initiative: “Growing this market is absolutely necessary for us to achieve our collective goals, but as investors we’ve observed the barriers to impact investing firsthand. We recognize our perspective as a family office is just one view. The Tipping Point Fund allows us to bring together a group of families and foundations with varied experiences to ensure we’re working towards a cohesive vision for the field.”
John Palfrey, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: “The Tipping Point Fund provides a unique opportunity to collectively work with current and future donors to catalyze investment capital that drives social, economic, and environmental impact. MacArthur appreciates everyone who is joining this effort and we look forward to working together to strengthen the field.”
Don Chen, President of the Surdna Foundation: “Anyone looking to engage in impact investing benefits from the ecosystem of support and engagement that has built up around this movement, and so it’s our responsibility to help nurture and maintain that ecosystem.”
The full list of inaugural funders for the TPF includes:
- Blue Haven Initiative
- David and Lucile Packard Foundation
- Ford Foundation
- John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- Omidyar Network
- Rockefeller Brothers Fund
- Surdna Foundation
- The Rockefeller Foundation
- Visa Foundation
The first recipients of TPF grants will be announced in 2020. The TPF remains open to additional funders who wish to contribute to the critical work of building the impact investing field in a collaborative fashion.
About the Tipping Point Fund
The Tipping Point Fund (“TPF”) is a donor collaborative vehicle developed with the mission of creating and supporting public goods to enable a high-functioning impact investing market. The TPF was launched in December 2019 with an initial $12.5 million in philanthropic capital, which will be used to develop the infrastructure that is critical to the continued growth and fidelity of the impact investing market. The funding will help build on existing field building efforts by prioritizing the areas that are chronically under-funded, are best suited for collective action and that require additional support beyond that provided by individual grantmaking. Learn more at www.tippingpointfund.com.
About the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance
The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance (“Alliance”) is a field building organization committed to raising awareness of impact investing in the United States, fostering deployment of impact capital and working with stakeholders to help build the impact investing ecosystem. The Alliance seeks to lift up the thousands of individual and institutional investors committed to achieving measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial performance. The Alliance also convenes the Presidents’ Council on Impact Investing, which is composed of the heads of 20 leading U.S. foundations with a shared commitment to practicing and promoting impact investing and more than $80 billion in combined assets. For more information, please visit www.impinvalliance.org.