Impact Investing

Impact Investing – putting dollars to work beyond grantmaking

Impact Investing (also known as Mission-Related Investing) is an exciting, flexible approach to financing programs and projects that have the potential to make communities healthier, opportunity-rich places for everyone. It includes a range of investment types that align with and advance the mission of an organization or an individual.

For investments other than grants, investors seek some measure of financial return – from getting the principal back to earning interest or dividends – as well as some form of community or social benefit. 

The Community Foundation pools gifts and other funding to resource impact investments, in the same way we pool funds like grantmaking.

Types of impact investments include:

  • Credit guarantees for projects or funds
  • Deposits in community banks or credit unions
  • Loans to financial institutions for lending to community projects
  • Angel investments in funds that target start-up or high impact entrepreneurs
  • Mission Investments from partner organizations
  • Real asset investments in real estate or environmental conservation projects that have specified social benefits 

Utilizing capital, community partners and social enterprise, the Community Foundation pursues opportunities that amplify the force of philanthropy in Whatcom County.  Our vision is that everyone who lives here thrives. The beauty of Impact Investing is that your philanthropy is recyclable.

Today, we have two Impact Investment funds. The Threshold Fund and The NW Catalyst Fund. The Threshold Fund is designed to help address the affordable housing crisis in Whatcom County. The NW Catalyst Fund makes low-cost capital available to entrepreneurs and inventors working in the realm of environmental sustainability.

To learn more about these funds, click on the links below:

Threshold Fund      

NW Catalyst Fund