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Community Foundations’ Place-based Innovations

Jonny Newburgh May 31, 2021

As some of our nation’s leading place-based anchor institutions, Community foundations have a unique opportunity to advance racial equity and social outcomes in their regions by connecting philanthropic capital with nonprofits and other local interventions. Many community foundations have embraced impact investing as a way to leverage capital to create more sustainable outcomes, yet many have had challenges scaling. Though donors have responded with support, relying solely on donor-advised funds (DAFs) has proven to be time-consuming and cumbersome.

The private markets have successfully captured massive levels of capital for creative interventions. Yet, connecting mission-oriented investors to true place-based challenges has proven more difficult. However, a few community foundations have embarked on bold new strategies to go beyond DAFs to raise outside capital that leverages more creative investment structures and broader risk parameters. This engaging panel will feature three place-based impact investing experts who are leading new initiatives in Atlanta, San Francisco and Seattle to ramp up fund strategies and deploy impact investments at scale.



Meta Themes

  • Impact Investing


Purpose and Desired Outcome

We will identify why leveraging DAFs is more difficult than it might appear and discuss creative new strategies that are showing true scale. Meanwhile, we will also offer new ways to think about community foundations as anchor institutions that can facilitate impact investment programs locally. Regardless of size, every community foundation has the potential to lead successful programs, but it requires leaders willing to think differently about their structures and tools.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)


  • NameMatt Onek
  • TitleSession Moderator
  • OrganizationMIE
  • StatusInvited
  • NameKris Hermanns
  • Title.
  • OrganizationSeattle Foundation
  • StatusInvited
  • NameSarah Abbe Taylor
  • Title.
  • OrganizationSan Francisco Foundation
  • StatusInvited
  • NameMark Crosswell
  • Title.
  • OrganizationCommunity Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s GoATL Fund
  • StatusConfirmed
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