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Jasper van Brakel, President and CEO of RSF Social Finance, discusses stakeholder economics and RSF’s innovative Community Pricing Gatherings
“A lot of impact investors are more or less traditional investors who like to invest in impact companies. There’s nothing wrong with that but we believe that it’s important to not only invest in impact companies, but also to change the way that we invest.”
“Every single Community Pricing Gathering there are investors who come to the table with the idea to advocate for a higher return for themselves and there are borrowers that come to the table with the idea that it would be great if we wrap up the meeting with a recommendation to lower the rate. And what always happens, in every single meeting, is that the tables turn…because it’s not some anonymous, invisible market mechanism regulating this – it’s the actual players who are having a conversation about their needs and the reality on the ground.”
– Jasper van Brakel, President and CEO of RSF Social Finance
Since the 1980s, RSF Social Finance has been driving capital to social enterprises supporting a more just and regenerative world. Currently RSF has two major product offerings: the RSF Social Investment Fund, which provides loans to both for-profit and nonprofit social enterprises, and a Donor Advised Fund, which helps manage charitable giving on behalf of organizations or individuals. As an intermediary, RSF has long supported direct relationships between transactional partners, which led to the launch of their innovative Community Pricing Gatherings in 2009. These meetings bring together investors in the fund, borrowers from the fund, and RSF staff to set interest rates each quarter. Instead of relying on market forces to dictate interest rates, these meetings create direct and transparent relationships between investor and borrower. Over the past 12 years, through two financial crises, RSF has found this pricing strategy to be a risk mitigant and has a 100% repayment rate to investors.
Joining this week’s episode is Jasper van Brakel, the President and CEO of RSF Social Finance. Prior to joining RSF in 2018, van Brakel was a partner at Newpark Capital, a private equity firm for impact-driven companies. During the conversation, host Alex Kravitz and van Brakel discuss the Community Pricing Gatherings, stakeholder governance, RSF’s new Racial Justice Collaborative, and much more.
- Learn more about the launch of the Community Pricing Gatherings in “Let’s talk about money”, a Medium post by John Bloom, former Vice President of Organizational Culture at RSF
- Read “We Need a Business Revolution — and We Can’t Base It on the Kindness of CEOs” by Jasper van Brakel in Sustainable Brands
- “Mission-aligned financing drives business and impact growth” by Mindy Christensen, Vice President of Lending, in Medium highlights several examples of the relationship between RSF and its borrowers
- Read about the Social Investment Fund and how to open an account
- Check out RSF’s 2020 Annual Report
- Learn more about RSF’s use of Integrated Capital
- One example of an alternative ownership structure that RSF supports is the Sustainable Food & Agriculture Perpetual Purpose Trust (SFAPPT)
- Learn more about impact investing and find innovative examples of impact investing at work on our page “What Is Impact Investing?“
Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. The series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors.