Impact Investing: Gift or Deal?

Posted by Phil Cubeta on Sep 19, 2018 7:30:00 AM

“Doing good” is changing. How will you respond when prospective donors raise these objections?

  • If nonprofits could fix the world, they would have by now.
  • Charities are yesterday’s news, like TV and taxi companies. We want something more like an app. Money in. Impact out.
  • I do impact investing. I don’t give. With impact investing I get results and I make money, too.
  • Volunteer? I organize online with my Twitter feed and followers.
  • Work for you? Why? I can do more good and make more money starting a high impact company or working for one.

As the line between giving and getting blurs, it can become harder to know whether a particular flow of funds into a nonprofit is best characterized as a gift or as an investment. The situation may be particularly acute in, say, a university doing sponsored research in potentially very profitable areas. Consider a hypothetical university which does research into semiconductors. Which of these is a gift? And which is best seen as a business deal?

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Topics: CGP Conference 2018, Impact Investing