Toniic T100: Launch Report & Toniic Diirectory Release


Toniic Diirectory Provides Searchable Catalog of 1,000+ Impact Investments


San Francisco, CA – Toniic Institute, the global action community for impact investors, today released T100: Launch – Insights from the Frontier of Impact Investing, in a presentation at the GIIN Investor Forum 2016 in Amsterdam. It is the first report in a longitudinal study of impact investing portfolios of Toniic members, starting with 51 portfolios. The data analyzed reveals that 100% values alignment can be achieved today in the investment portfolios of high net worth individuals, foundations, and family offices, including those portfolios seeking market-rate returns.


The inaugural T100 report relies on private portfolio data shared by Toniic 100% Impact Network members, ranging in size from less than US$2 million to more than $100 million, with combined capital of more than $1.65 billion. The T100: Launch report is available for download at


As part of the T100 project, Toniic also announced the launch of the Toniic Diirectory, a publicly accessible, peer-sourced catalog of more than 1,000 impact investments made by its members, upon which the T100 findings are based.  The directory is searchable by impact categories, impact themes, asset classes, management structure, liquidity profile, and impact geography, and is available for review at


The T100: Launch report offers insights from the frontier of impact investing – from those investors who have committed to go “all in” to impact-alignment across all asset classes in a diversified portfolio. It reaches the following conclusions:

  • 100% alignment of one’s investment capital and values is possible today. 
  • Alignment is for everyone. Geography is no barrier, nor are particular causes or themes.
  • Investors have found investments they consider impactful across all asset classes.
  • Measurable impact can be generated by a wide range of portfolio asset sizes, liquidity objectives, and investor types while also achieving market-based financial returns.
  • On average the portfolios are 64% deployed with impact and 33% have already reached 90% or greater impact.

“As a trusted third party, we can aggregate information through the T100 Project, and help investors learn from what’s happening on the frontier of impact investing,” said Toniic CEO Adam Bendell. “With these initial findings, the T100 Launch report begins to unravel certain myths about the potential for impact investing. We see now that impact returns can come alongside financial returns, and that one can achieve positive impact in virtually every asset class, not just in early stage private equity.”


The T100: Launch report is the first in an upcoming series of reports to be issued by Toniic as part of the T100 project, based on data drawn from the increasing scope of the Toniic Diirectory. This will provide a newfound perspective into the efficacy of value-aligned impact investments in yielding positive financial returns alongside targeted positive impact.


To contribute to the Toniic Diirectory, investors will be able to utilize the accompanying Toniic Impact Portfolio Tool, which enables them to see relationships between asset classes and impact in their own portfolio of investments, and contribute to the demonstrative power of sharing actual investments in the Diirectory.


Over time, the Diirectory will grow with new investment data, serving as a living resource for impact investors. Significant industry players, including the Tides Foundation and ImpactAssets, have already agreed to add their investment information into upcoming versions of the Diirectory.


“This report and its underlying data is the starting point of a multi-year longitudinal study to follow 100 portfolios over multiple years,” said Dr. Charly Kleissner, co-founder of Toniic and the 100% Impact Network. “We believe the results of these efforts will make an important contribution to developing the new financial system, a system that will have positive impact at its core.”


About Toniic and T100


Toniic is the global action community for impact investors. Toniic’s 160 members represent more than 360 impact investors from 22 countries who share a vision of a global financial system creating positive social and environmental impact. Toniic’s mission is to empower impact investors.


More than half of Toniic members are also members of the Toniic 100% Impact Network, each of whom have committed to move an entire investment portfolio from less than $2 million to more than $300 million into 100% impact investments. This represents a total commitment of close to $4 billion.


The T100 Project is a longitudinal study of the portfolios of some of those investors. It reveals new insights about the various paths towards and feasibility of 100% impact investing. The T100 project includes periodic reports, issue briefs, videos and podcasts, and the Toniic Diirectory, a peer-sourced directory of over 1,000 impact investments across all asset classes. For more information, visit or write us at





Toniic joins four other organizations in signing the “Coalition for Impact” Memorandum of Understanding


Toniic is a proud partner of the AVPN Conference 2019 – the largest gathering of social investors in Asia!

Toniic Institute Announces New Managing Director, EMEA

Kanini Mutooni joins Toniic as the new Managing Director, EMEA


LONDON – Toniic Institute, the global action community for impact investors, welcomes Kanini Mutooni as its new Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“The Toniic team and Board were impressed by Kanini’s record of success, international outlook and expertise, depth of management experience across roles, cultures and continents, and her passion for impact investing,” said Adam Bendell, CEO of Toniic.

Kanini will be moving from Nairobi back to London where she will be based starting in late January.  Prior to her new position at Toniic, Kanini was the Director for Investment at the USAID-funded East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, a $65m, 8 country initiative to attract investment and increase trade in the East Africa region. Since its launch, the unit has supported the close of over $100M in deals originated in the East African region in agri-business, financial services and ICT.

Kanini is a UK Chartered Accountant with a record of exceptional leadership gained in East Africa, Europe and the United States. She has excellent entrepreneurial credential, having set up the first UK platform for SME lending that successfully raised $1m in seed capital and was instrumental in helping fund over $50m in debt capital in Eastern and Western Europe.

Kanini has worked at Board level in leadership positions at investment banks in London and US, such as Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. In 2011 she was recognized as one of the most influential women in the City of London by Barclays Wealth UK and in 2012 she was named one of the most powerful women in Business by the Business Weekly newspaper in Kenya.

“I am delighted to join the Toniic EMEA team and be a part of this action orientated impact investor community. I look forward to supporting Toniic in its mission to empower impact investors and broaden and deepen the impact of their investments around the world,” says Mutooni.

Kanini is an Investment Committee Board member of the African Enterprise Challenge Fund, a $250m impact fund with 180 investments across Sub-Saharan Africa and was also the Chair of the Audit and Finance committee for the International HIV Alliance, a 54 country International NGO that focusses on promoting advocacy and treatment of HIV, based in the UK.

In 2014, Kanini was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader for her exceptional leadership in business, the health sector and global entrepreneurship.

About Toniic Institute

Founded in 2011, Toniic Institute is the global action community for impact investors, with members in over 20 countries. Toniic provides family offices, high net worth individuals, and foundations with access to investment opportunities, tools and thought leadership as they grow their impact investing practices. For more information, visit



Introducing the Impact Terms Project (“ITP”)

The Impact Terms Project

Toniic is proud to announce the Impact Terms Project (“ITP”, accessible at, a free and publicly accessible resource that offers practical guidance to investors, entrepreneurs, and intermediaries seeking to generate social and environmental impact while achieving financial returns.

ITP provides example investment contract provisions (“terms”) for impact investments, sample term sheets, case studies, and guidance on alternative investment structures. By reducing the transaction costs of impact investing and helping experienced practitioners develop a set of “sound practices” for impact investment, ITP can lower the barriers to entry into impact investing for investors while empowering impact entrepreneurs.

Contact us at if you would like to learn more about ITP or have examples of alternative investment structures that you would like to have featured!

Podcasts from Toniic’s Reversing the Tide Event

This summer, Toniic members from both North America and Europe met in Victoria, Canada to hear from leading companies focused on solutions for restoring the health and sustainability of our oceans. We are pleased to provide you with an opportunity to hear from each of these companies yourself. We hope that they inspire you to take action with your own investments!

Newest T100 Report: Investors Accelerate Toward 100% Impact

T100: Powered Ascent is the second report in Toniic’s longitudinal study of portfolios in the 100% Impact Network. The report compiles data and perspectives from 76 private portfolios adding up to $2.8 billion in committed capital. That’s a nearly 50% increase in participation compared with the 2016 Launch report.

Putting “Impact” at the Center of Impact Investing: A Case Study of Toniic’s T100 Project

Toniic is pleased to share this new case study by The Rockefeller Foundation which shows how our T100 Project is providing valuable data to the field of impact investing, facilitating alignment of impact themes with Sustainable Development Goals and deepening our member’s impact management!

Toniic Institute and The Center For Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth At University Of Zurich Announce Research Collaboration

Toniic Institute, the global action community for impact investors, and the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth (CSP) at the University of Zurich, announce today the launch of a partnership to facilitate the study of the investment behavior and motivations of private impact investors.

200 Additional Impact Investments Uploaded to Toniic Directory

Toniic announces the upload of more than 200 investments sourced by the ImpactAssets’ Giving Fund, as well as the upload of 10 Impact Investor Personal Journey Stories & Videos to the Toniic T100 Project web page.

Toniic Institute Announces New CFO

Emilie Cortes, CFA, CAIA, joins Toniic as the new Chief Financial Officer


SAN FRANCISCO – Toniic Institute, the global action community for impact investors, announced today the appointment of Emilie Cortes, CFA, CAIA, as its new Chief Financial Officer.

“Emilie has the perfect background for Toniic.  She has previously run global businesses, has experience in the traditional financial sector, has served in financial oversight roles in philanthropy, and has been deeply involved in impact investing for nearly a decade,” said Adam Bendell, CEO of Toniic.  “She is a great fit for our culture, too, with a strong reputation of bringing both her heart and her head to every role she plays.”

Emilie’s 22-year career in financial services has spanned institutional and philanthropic investment management, private company business valuations, quantitative risk analytics for equity and fixed income investors and bringing Structured Credit transactions to market. Emilie also acquired and ran an international women’s adventure travel company out of Bend, Oregon, where she won Bend Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and managed a leading safari and trekking company out of Arusha, Tanzania.

“I am excited to focus my full energy on the impact investing field,” explained Cortes.  “I am passionate about moving capital toward noble missions and well-run companies to effect positive change as rapidly as possible.  It will be my pleasure to help shepherd Toniic Institute with respect to financial sustainability to ensure we can continue to maximize our impact, promote the impact investing field, and deliver value to our inspired member community.”

Emilie received her MBA in Finance from UC, Berkeley and her BSBA in International Business from American University, summa cum laude. Emilie holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation, as well as certificates demonstrating business level proficiency in French and Spanish.

Emilie will continue to be based in Bend, Oregon, with frequent travel to Toniic headquarters in San Francisco, California.

About Toniic Institute

Founded in 2011, Toniic Institute is the global action community for impact investors, with members in over 20 countries. Toniic provides family offices, high net worth individuals, and foundations with access to investment opportunities, tools and thought leadership as they grow their impact investing practices. For more information, visit



Toniic Institute Announces New CFO

SAN FRANCISCO – Toniic Institute, the global action community for impact investors, announced today the appointment of Emilie Cortes, CFA, CAIA, as its new Chief Financial Officer.

Toniic Becomes Inaugural Member of US Impact Investing Alliance Advisory Council

Toniic is pleased to share the news that we are an inaugural member of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance Industry Advisory Council (IAC)! The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance is a field building organisation committed to raising awareness of impact investing in the U.S., fostering deployment of impact capital, and working with stakeholders to help build the impact investing ecosystem. We are delighted to be part of this new vehicle for advancing our policy goals with other impact investing networks including Confluence Philanthropy, the GIIN, the ImPact, Intentional Endowments Network, Investors’ Circle, Mission Investors Exchange, and US SIF.

Latest T100 Report & Podcasts: Insights from impact advisors & consultants

The latest T100 report features insights from 37 impact advisors and consultants. Accompanying the release of this report is the launch of our Advisor Podcast series which includes interviews of five advisors who are supporting Toniic members.

T100 Report Release: Insights from Impact Advisors and Consultants 2017


Berlin, DE and San Francisco, CA – Toniic Institute*, the global action community for impact investors, today released T100: Insights from Impact Advisors and Consultants 2017, at the Berlin Green Investment Summit. This is the second report in the T100 Research Project, a longitudinal study of 100% impact investing portfolios of Toniic members.

In this new report, 37 impact advisors and consultants from 12 countries, partnering with 38 of Toniic’s 100% Impact Network* members, open the door to their impact practices to demystify, inspire and activate both investors and the financial services industry. While today there are more impact firms and product offerings to choose from than ever before, information on impact intermediaries, especially for private asset owners, remains sparse despite the growth of the industry.

“As a trusted third party, Toniic can aggregate information through the T100 Project, and help investors and advisors learn from what’s happening on the frontier of impact investing,” said Toniic CEO Adam Bendell. “With this second report in the T100 project, we complement the initial findings of the ‘T100: Launch’ report with the perspective of active impact advisors and consultants in the field, helping private and institutional investors moving to 100% impact in their portfolios.”

“What we see is a dedicated, articulate, optimistic, innovative, and definitely persistent group of entrepreneurial founders as well as large company intrapreneurs,” said Lisa Kleissner, co-founder of Toniic and its 100% Impact Network. “Beyond fulfilling their clients’ impact needs, they are building new impact products and services, and volunteering their time to strengthen and grow the impact ecosystem. All of them, while cognizant of the challenges, are optimistic there are solutions and a bright future for impact.”

Impact advisors and consultants surveyed are reporting:

  • A significant increase in the depth and diversity of the impact intermediary offering, with sector growth led by client demand. That demand is led by women and millennials asking for values-aligned investment opportunities.
  • Challenges, like impact measurement and access to appropriate investment opportunities, remain, but none deemed insurmountable.
  • Accomplishments and optimism as milestones are being achieved. Survey respondents shared success stories, from engaging with new impact clients and transitioning existing clients into impact, to creating new products, and becoming a viable 100% impact advisory business.
  • Financial returns are on target. Clients target mostly market-rate financial returns. In some situations, clients want and intermediaries are finding high impact investments targeting sub-commercial returns.
  • Looking to the future, all surveyed agree. Outlook = Growth. Respondents anticipate growth in the number of investors, advisors, and consultants in the space, growth in the breadth and depth of products and services available, and growth in talent entering the ecosystem.

As one advisor concluded, “At the end of the day, it is all about moving past the noise in the system to get to the more important task of co-creating the long-term plan for our planet.”

The T100: Insights from Impact Advisors and Consultants 2017 report is available for download at

Podcast interviews with five advisors supporting Toniic members, conducted by Toni Johnson of Mission OutLoud with support from the Heron Foundation, are available at


*About Toniic and the T100 Project

Toniic is the global action community for impact investors. Toniic’s members in more than 20 countries share a vision of a global financial system creating positive social and environmental impact. Toniic’s mission is to empower impact investors.

Toniic 100% Impact Network members, a sub-group of the Toniic membership, have committed to move an entire investment portfolio into 100% impact across asset classes. Portfolios range in size from less than $2 million to more than $300 million for an aggregated commitment of close to $4 billion.

The T100 Project is a longitudinal study of the portfolios of some of those investors. It reveals insights into the impact journey and feasibility of 100% impact investing. The T100 project includes periodic reports, issue briefs, videos and podcasts, and the Toniic Diirectory, a peer-sourced directory of over 1,000 impact investments across all asset classes. For more information, visit or contact us at

Media Contact: Danielle Lacasse, Toniic UK ;; US Cell +1 (415) 746-9813

Toniic releases list of advisors & intermediaries who help investors move towards achieving 100% impact portfolios

Toniic has seen demand from investors who want to learn more about impact advisors and intermediaries in the market to help them move towards achieving 100% impact in their portfolios.  To meet this demand, we published our list of participating advisors and intermediaries from our 2016 Toniic Impact Advisor Survey.

Toniic Webinar Series: Measuring Impact Across Asset Classes: Private Equities

Presented here is the second installment in our Impact Management Webinar Series. It provides an overview of how the impact of private equities is currently measured and managed.

Toniic’s T100 Launch Report: A multi-year study

Toniic released today it’s first report “T100: Launch – Insights from the Frontier of Impact Investing” in a longitudinal study of impact investing portfolios of Toniic members, starting with 51 portfolios. The data analyzed reveals that 100% values alignment can be achieved today in the investment portfolios of high net worth individuals, foundations, and family offices, including those portfolios seeking market-rate returns.

A healthy dose of Toniic: Insights on impact investing at SOCAP16

By Alan Pierce


An annual mecca for impact networking and knowledge sharing, Social Capital Markets convenes an impressive array of plenaries, breakout sessions, and speakers. And at this year’s conference, SOCAP16, members of Toniic’s impact investor network held a considerable presence on stage. Over the course of three days and approximately 150 unique panels Toniic members led or participated in nearly a fifth of them.


I attended some of these events to listen to the Toniic community as they shared knowledge, experience and vision for leveraging capital in service to systemic social change. Below is a brief peek into three of these sessions with insight from the Toniic members who hosted them.


Each includes one memorable quote, a key insight, and, in alignment with Toniic’s mission as a global action community of impact investors, I have also offered an actionable message based on those insights.

Morning Plenary

Jed Emerson, Blended Value


A key quote: “This is not a conversation about trade-offs and compromise and marginalizing profitability in order to create some sort of fuzzy concept of charitable good. It is about how do we create a more integrated approach towards value creation through our companies, through our communities, through our capital. That’s the conversation.”


A key insight: Intentionality. Emerson cautions that the recent, rapid evolution of impact investing has introduced a propensity to de-emphasize the “why” in favor of the “how.” He urges us to hold a clear vision for why we are doing what we are doing, honoring our shared drive to raise humanity using purposeful capital structures. Without clarity of this embedded intentionality we may become prone to avoiding complexity in favor of “cheaper,” easier impact goals, a process which could ultimately compromise the reach and sustainability of that impact.


An actionable message: In your organization, your job, your life, with every decision you make, ask yourself, “Is this in alignment with my/our vision to our greater purpose?” It is a simple inquiry. The challenge lies not in asking it, but in acting always to affirm it. Jed challenges us to strive for the latter.

Supermodels: Constructing an Investment Portfolio With 100% Impact

John Kohler, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship


A key quote: “As we’ve observed over the past 10 to 15 years when a new entrant wants to combine money and meaning we invite them to invest in the very hardest place right off the bat, which is to invest in the small social enterprise 6,000 miles away making clean cookstoves, or providing clean water — which is good merit and high impact but very hard to manage right out of the box. So how do we make that much more approachable with people who are high net worth asset owners or institutional fund managers?”


A key insight: For new entrants to the impact investing sphere it is important to first clearly articulate your impact investment vision. I am moved to include this insight because of its evident alignment with Jed Emerson’s emphatic call to be guided by a greater “why.” Kohler echoes this emphasis suggesting that it will ultimately help inform which asset classes are most reasonable and available to you. With a clearly defined impact thesis or theory of change you can build out clear thematic choices (e.g. water, education), establish yourself on an impact-return spectrum, and ultimately determine an array of asset classes likely to be most effective in achieving your goals in alignment with an overall vision.


An actionable message: Begin modeling an impact portfolio that is structured around a theory of change model that speaks to what moves you or your organization. If you have already done so, or are in this process, perhaps share what you have learned along the way. It is important to collaborate on such best practices. Because as Kohler and others (e.g Toniic 100% IMPACT Network members) encourage such dialogue and act on it, we move more swiftly from conversation to effective action, implementation, and systemic change.

Paying For Impact: How New Kinds of Incentives Are Boosting Businesses That Serve The Poor

Rodrigo Villar Esquivel, New Ventures Mexico


A key quote: “One of the problems in raising money in Latin America is exits. Many entrepreneurs we have seen, great companies and great ideas, they are not thinking about selling their company. People build companies to have a solution to a problem or just to have a way of life, to have it for their family…So we created a way to invest in which people don’t have to sell.”


A key insight: Cultural and social norms may call for non-traditional investment models. Villar brings a perspective from Mexico and Latin America where impact investing remains a more nascent, albeit growing, field. While he acknowledged this perspective is not true for every single entrepreneur it sheds light on what is still a prevailing mindset. To meet these entrepreneurs where they are, in terms of values, can mean exploring things like social impact bonds, or other pay-for-success models. The ability to structure and implement such a process may depend on how directly you can measure the outcomes of a product or service. Indeed, Villar emphasizes the best companies for such models are those that have a product or service that is directly solving a social problem (e.g. providing affordable healthcare services for treatable blindness → you can measure how many people are able to see again).


An actionable message: One active and perhaps more subtle take-away from Villar’s insights is to embrace cultural sensitivity when approaching an impact investing opportunity. Instead of forcing a square peg in a round hole, try to explore and harness the cultural nuances of a region’s entrepreneurial consciousness. In doing so you might discover alignment and realize returns in places and in ways that expand opportunity, and impact, for all involved.


 *     *     *



Alan Pierce holds a master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship from Hult International Business School. While at Hult he co-led the development of a student-run accelerator for local social enterprise startups, and received a management consulting certification. Prior to pursuing this degree Alan worked for a number of nonprofits in the SF Bay Area. This included an institute conducting research on individual and social transformation, at which he published several academic papers.

Toniic Releases Venture Philanthropists & Impact Investors Report

In this report, we share a number of examples of how venture philanthropists and impact investors are working together to fund early-stage impact enterprises around the world..

Read more and download report

Toniic Releases Millennials & Impact Investment Report

The Millennials & Impact Investment report goes straight to the source offering interviews and insights from millennials engaged in impact investing  – from exploration through to execution.

Read more and download report

Toniic Institute Announces New CEO

Adam Bendell, former CEO of Strategic Discovery and CINO of FTI Consulting, named to lead Toniic Institute


Adam BendellSAN FRANCISCO – The Toniic Institute, a nonprofit global organization of impact investors, announced today the selection of Adam S. Bendell as its next chief executive officer, commencing July 1, 2016. Bendell brings entrepreneurial, financial, operational, marketing and business development expertise to Toniic, along with experience managing global teams.


As CEO and co-founder of Strategic Discovery, a San Francisco­­–based consulting and technology company, Bendell successfully negotiated its acquisition in 2008 by FTI Consulting. He served as chief innovation officer with FTI Consulting until February 2016. Bendell is a seasoned impact investor whose personal impact themes include eldercare, plant-based food alternatives to factory farming, and business models across sectors that monetize data aggregation.


“The Toniic board was attracted to Adam’s previous success as a CEO, his track record of innovation, inspiring vision and drive for excellence—all balanced with a big heart,” said Lisa Kleissner, Toniic board chair. “We are confident that Adam has the skill, passion and vision to partner with our team, our members and our impact colleagues to take Toniic and the growing field of impact investing to a new level.”


“I am thrilled to have this unique opportunity to combine my experience in innovation and building businesses with my passion for impact investing,” said Bendell. “The field of impact investing is now irrevocably on the map, and Toniic is uniquely poised and ready to scale. Toniic has a major role to play across investor education, community building and capital deployment. The impact community looks to Toniic, one of the most trusted brands in the space, for leadership. Whether it’s for those of our members working to transition their portfolios to 100 percent impact investing, those who look to Toniic for opportunities to invest in direct deals and funds, or those just getting started in impact investing, Toniic sets the pace.”


Prior to working at Strategic Discovery, Bendell was president and co-founder of SV Technology, a knowledge-management software firm whose flagship product, LawPort, was acquired by SydneyPLUS International (now Lucidea). Before that, Bendell served as chief technology counsel at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. He graduated from Cornell University, was a visiting student at the London School of Economics, and received his juris doctor from the University of Chicago Law School. He resides in San Francisco with his wife, Tracy.


Alison Fort will continue to serve as acting CEO of Toniic until July 1, 2016, when she will resume her leadership duties as Toniic’s managing director for EMEA.


About Toniic Institute

Founded in 2011, Toniic Institute is the global action community for impact investors, with members in over 26 countries. Toniic provides family offices, high net worth individuals, institutions and corporations with access to investment opportunities, tools and thought leadership as they grow their impact investing practices. Toniic leverages its global member expertise in impact investing to produce open-access e-guides on topics such as crowd investing, early stage investing, and impact measurement. Toniic ImpactU provides transformational learning opportunities for impact investing around the globe for both members and nonmembers. For more information, visit


Toniic Institute Announces New CEO

Adam Bendell, former CEO of Strategic Discovery and CINO of FTI Consulting, named to lead Toniic Institute

SAN FRANCISCO – The Toniic Institute, a non-profit global organization of impact investors, announced today its selection of Adam S. Bendell as the next chief executive officer, commencing … Read more

Eyes on the Horizon: The Impact Investor Survey

This survey captures data and market perspectives from 146 impact investors. As in previous years, J.P. Morgan and GIIN focused on investing organizations from foundations to financial institutions and did not include individual investors. To ensure that survey participants have meaningful experience in making and managing impact investments, we set a criterion for participation such that only respondents that either manage USD 10mm or more in impact assets and/or have committed capital to at least five different impact transactions are included. The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) collected and collated the data, making the data set anonymous before sending to J.P. Morgan for analysis.

Fossil Fuel Divestment Pledges Surpass $2.6 Trillion

More than 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals representing $2.6 trillion in assets have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies. The divestment movement has grown exponentially since Climate Week last year, when Arabella Advisors reported that 181 institutions and 656 individuals representing over $50 billion in assets had committed to divest. At that time, divestment advocates pledged to triple these numbers by the December 2015 Paris UN climate negotiations. Three months before the negotiations, we have already witnessed a fifty-fold increase in the total assets of those committed to divest from fossil fuels!

Congratulations to SVN member Ellen Dorsey from Wallace Global Fund and everyone involved with the Divest-Invest movement! Click here to read about the Divest-Invest press conference with Ellen Dorsey, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Tom Van Dyck, and Leonardo DiCaprio held this morning.

Join the fastest growing divestment movement in history, and help speed the transition to a clean energy economy. Sign the Divest-Invest personal pledge today.

I also hope you’ll join us for our 2015 Fall Conference in Baltimore, November 5-8, to learn more about Divest-Invest and get connected to an amazing community of change-makers, mission-driven entrepreneurs and impact investors.

Thank you for your support!

Deb Nelson
Executive Director
Social Venture Network

Introducing the Impact Investing Benchmark

Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network have collaborated to launch the Impact Investing Benchmark, the first comprehensive analysis of the financial performance of market rate private equity and venture capital impact investing funds. While the impact investing industry is in an early stage of development, it is poised for growth. One of the chief barriers to industry advancement remains a paucity of robust research on financial performance. Credible data on risk and return can help both existing and future impact investors better identify strategies that best suit their desired social, environmental, and financial criteria.

At launch, the Impact Investing Benchmark comprises 51 private investment funds. Funds in the benchmark pursue a range of social impact objectives, operate across geographies and sectors, and were launched in vintage years 1998 to 2010.

The Demystification of Early Stage Investing

Seed stage investing is one of the most important phases of the capital aggregation cycle, but it is also one of the most misunderstood phases of funding a business. It is widely regarded as the riskiest investment stage, but also the one offering potentially high returns, along with the huge emotional connection sought by many investors. While it is arguably the investment stage where the most innovation is occurring, it is also the area seeing the least amount of capital inflows. This podcast examines the high-level concepts related to this broad topic.

Read more

Women in Impact Investing

There have been many articles and books written about the challenges for women in business and work-life balance – from Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” to Anne Marie Slaughter’s “Why women still can’t have it all.”

On the other hand, there is little written specifically about the intersection of women and their leadership roles as socially-responsible investors. We define impact investing as investing financial capital into financial products which aim for return and social or environmental positive impact. As an investor community, we wanted to explore our role as women in the sector, either as professionals or as asset owners…

What do women uniquely contribute to the movement of impact investing?

In March 2015, twenty five women and two men gathered together in Scotland at an event organized by Toniic, an impact investing membership-based organization, to discuss the role of women and impact investing. It was an exceptional group of women dedicated to using investments to build a better future.

Following from the inspirational conversations generated at this gathering we, as women working in the impact investing sector, were inspired to write this blog to share some of our reflections.

Over the next 40 years, $41 trillion of wealth transfer is expected around the world. Morgan Stanley stated that by 2025, women will control or manage roughly 2/3rds of US private wealth. This is a significant shift and drives home the importance of engaging and acknowledging the powerful force that the women who will be inheriting this wealth can play in changing the face of investing.

At Toniic, one of our goals is to inspire conversations to take place around the world so that women feel as though they have strong support structures to become active impact investors. A number of the women participating in the gathering in Scotland have been working in the impact investing space for a number of years and were open and vulnerable about some of the challenges they were facing, such as balancing their work and family life or facing gender bias. Although this is socially-minded sector, and in appearance egalitarian, we realized that many of the biases of the mainstream financial or corporate sectors also exist within the sector of impact investing. And most of the decision-makers in family offices, impact investing funds or firms were men, despite a few organizations such as Acumen. If we are not self-aware, we could replicate the status-quo. It was further highlighted how rare it was for women, even as investors in a company, to be board directors and particularly chairwomen of boards. And of course, many stories came about as to the lack of support of women towards women. In many cases, we came to realize our own biases against women as entrepreneurs, managers or investors. As a group, we committed to become alert to these biases and commit to changing these dynamics.

At the top, women often feel as though they have to act as men in order to thrive in male-driven environments. Rather than women feeling the need to conform to the prevailing culture, it is important that women recognize the unique skills that make them strong impact investors. Some of these attributes include empathy, collaboration and being intrinsically socially minded. Also, if EQ is higher in women than men, this should bode well for women as early-stage impact investors, which at its core is about evaluating people and management teams.

We discussed different ways in which we could support each other, including recommending each other for speaking positions, mentoring female millennials, coaching women on negotiating skills and supporting women to ‘own their own power.’

Ingrid Stange who has been at the forefront of the impact investing sector in Norway argues that “women own half the sky and therefore we should make sure that women own half the world.” By supporting one another, we believe this can become our new reality.

Gender Lens investing, or investing capital in women-run companies, is also a key component in empowering women as business owners. There are numerous initiatives, such as the Girl Effect, that help to unlock greater capital for women and girls. There is also a need for an increasing number of platforms and products to support gender lens investing.

None of this deflects from the essential role that men play in impact investing. It is furthermore essential that men engage women more proactively in this sphere and also tale part in this conversation.

A large part of the vision at Toniic is that anyone can be an impact investor. Women, no matter in what wealth bracket, can play a critical role in directing investments towards socially-minded causes. And better yet, we are convinced that this sector cannot take off and become mainstream if women, as asset owners, do not get increasingly involved.

So how can more women be actively engaged in impact investing? What can we do to unlock more capital into women-run companies? What new products could be created to help support women impact investors?

We are very interested to hear your perspectives on this. Please write your comments below. And join our movement now! @Toniic

We also invite you to view the video from this retreat, entitled Toniic Women of Impact.

Jenna Nicholas 150

by Jenna Nicholas, Stephanie Cohn Rupp

Merrill Lynch Says Money is the Root of All Good, Creates Sustainable Impact Portfolios

What if I told you that you’re more powerful than you think, and that you likely have an untapped powerful resource to create social impact?

Global green bond market touched $37 billion in 2014: Moody’s

India is looking to raise these low-cost and long-term funds to help finance its plan to quadruple its renewable energy production and to make it economically viable.

Foundations’ Impact Investing Largely Talk, Study Finds

Foundation leaders see their main fiduciary responsibility as maximizing financial returns

GIIN Publishes Landscape Report on South Asia

Latin American Investment Forum (FLII)


During the last week of February, I was fortunate to attend the fifth Latin American Investment Forum (it goes by “FLII”, its Spanish Acronym). Over the past five years, this annual gathering in Merida, Yucatan has grown into a premier event in Latin America that seeks to strengthen the ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

This year, more than 300 organizations gathered in Merida, Yucatan representing social entrepreneurs, investors, government entities, development banks, financial institutions, corporations and academics – to exchange knowledge and build the region’s community active in the field of impact investment and entrepreneurship.

It was my first time at the FLII and what immediately struck me was the variety of different players it attracted. On the first day of the conference, the panel representing the Government of Yucatán, National Institute of the Entrepreneur, New Ventures, HSBC and CEMEX welcomed the participants. This sent a strong message on the need for cross-country and cross-sectorial strategies required to address social issues in the region.

The conference has three overarching objectives: 1) mainstreaming impact investing in Latin America; 2) promoting ideas, trends and innovation in the impact investing eco-system and 3) fostering social entrepreneurship as a critical driver for growth in the emerging economies. The busy agenda spans three days of back-to-back sessions: speed pitches by the impact businesses, inspiring speed talks, roundtable panels with specialists, interactive workshop sessions and networking lunches. This whirlwind of a program is meant to inspire and encourage participation to ensure the conference results in collaboration opportunities and lasting connections.

FLII is organized by New Ventures Mexico, a leading platform that catalyzes social and environmental entrepreneurs and fosters development of the region’s ecosystem that supports them. New Ventures Mexico is a Toniic member. New Ventures provides innovative impact businesses with financing, technical assistance and networking opportunities such as FLII. The acceleration program provides innovative businesses with strategic support to strengthen their business models and scale impact.

The financing is provided through Adobe Capital Social Mezzanine Fund. Rodrigo Villar is the Managing Director at New Ventures Mexico and Partner at Adobe Capital as well as a Toniic member. The fund provides capital ranging from $100,000 to $3 million in debt, mezzanine and capital options, with flexible terms. What is unique about this arrangement is the technical assistance component – through taking board seats, supporting GIIRS certification, one-on-one mentoring sessions, and strategic networking.

Such combination of the accelerator support, investment and conference outreach creates an effective and powerful platform to support social entrepreneurs and ensure successful outcomes.

This year, the conference featured ten finalists of “I3 LATAM: Impact Fostering Innovation in Latin America”, a joint initiative of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Hystra, Ashoka and New Ventures Mexico. The program identifies and catalyzes top ten entrepreneurs in the region who are then given an opportunity to pitch and connect with potential partners and investors at the FLII. The acceleration program includes a trip to San Francisco and Silicon Valley to meet with leaders in entrepreneurship, innovation and impact investing. The participating companies are also assigned a mentor in their home country to develop a strategic plan. These ten cases of success serve as inspiration for the region’s new generation of entrepreneurs.

I was impressed by the innovative ideas entrepreneurs presented at the conference. One of the companies, Ecofiltro, produces and distributes water filters for rural communities in Guatemala employing people from local communities. Another company, Carbon roots, aims to replace wood charcoal by converting agricultural waste into a cleaner cooking fuel to combat deforestation in Haiti. These are just some examples of the many outstanding entrepreneurs who participated in the conference.

The plethora of talented entrepreneurs and active engagement of the local private and public players encourages Toniic to continue supporting FLII. Stephanie Cohn Rupp, CEO of Toniic, introduced the goals and scope of the conference together with Toniic board member, John Kohler of Santa Clara University. She also led the workshop on due diligence. I was privileged to participate on the “Green Initiatives: Climate Change” panel and share the work of Divest-Invest Philanthropy.

For me, the conference was a unique opportunity to learn about the vibrant and growing impact investing sector in Latin America and meet the key players. At Toniic, we are excited to see the region’s impact investing community grow and an increasing number of innovative ideas successfully implemented and scaled.

Jenna Nicholas 150

by Jenna Nicholas, Toniic Fellow

ImpactBase Snapshot Report


Jaila Ventures

Better Ventures

Green Bonds: A Fixed-Income Impact Opportunity

February 2, 2015

One of Toniic’s newest members, BNP Paribas recently launched the first World Bank Green Bond linked to an equity index. For the Toniic members who are looking at how to create impact across asset classes, having fixed income socially responsible products such as green bonds is extremely valuable. Toniic co-founders, Charly and Lisa Kleissner are also the recent recipients of the BNP Paribas Philanthropy award.

A Green Bond, is a debt instrument issued to raise financial capital for the exclusive support of projects with specific environmental benefits. A relatively new asset class, the Green Bond originated to satisfy demand from Scandinavian pension funds looking to incorporate fixed- income climate change products to their investment portfolios. Responding to the demand of institutional investors, the first Green Bond was issued in 2008 by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), one of five institutions that comprise the World Bank Group. The first issue was originally worth 2.325 billion SEK ($USD 3.53 million). Its proceeds were earmarked for select IBRD environmental projects tackling global carbon emissions or climate change resilience.

Green bonds are tied to a very specific climate-related or otherwise environmentally beneficial purpose or technology, and are explicitly labeled as “green” at the time of issuance. They are also the first investment grade “plain vanilla” security whose proceeds are earmarked and used to finance climate projects; issuers borrow for a defined period of three to 25 years at a fixed interest rate (Gustke, 2013). Unlike green stocks or green equity-indexed bonds, Green Bonds do not usually expose investors to the risks of the specific green projects funded by the proceeds, as they are often backed by large development banks or companies (Gustke, 2013).

Once limited to issuers from large international financial institutions, the total value of outstanding Green Bonds doubled in 2013 as the type of issuers broadened and investors warmed to the green market. According to the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), an investor-focused non-profit, around $USD 7.8 billion-worth of explicitly advertised Green Bonds were issued by the end of 2012, mostly by the World Bank and other multilateral lenders; $USD 6.4 billion of which is still outstanding. In February 2013, the IFC issued a $USD 1 billion Green Bond, over 20 new Green Bonds followed, with most new bonds worth over $USD 250 million. That same year, in a watershed event that significantly broadened the scope of issuers, the first corporate labelled Green Bonds were issued by Électricité de France, Vasakronan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  By the end of 2013 the market stood at approximately $USD 15 billion in outstanding bonds. (Kidney, 2014)  As of 2014, more than $USD 19.9 billion in Green Bonds were issued worldwide and are projected by the CBI to reach $USD 40 billion by years end (Gustke, Quarterly Investment Guide, 2014).

It is exciting to see the growth of the green bond market and expect this growth to continue as more investors are thinking about the alignment of their values and their investments.

One of the important issues related to green bonds is the question of what counts as green? Please check out this link for more of an exploration of this question: Setting Standards in a Booming Market: What Makes Green Bonds Green?

One example of a green bond project issued by the World Bank’s IBRD is this project in China. For more project examples, please see, World Bank Green Bonds

“Style 1” Title Slide


Jenna Nicholas 150

by Jenna Nicholas, Toniic Fellow

Connecting Supply and Demand for Impactful Jobs

As Millennials are entering the work force, both demand and supply for jobs with social and/or environmental impact has increased tremendously. Similar to consumers who are increasingly seeking out fair trade labels and lead certifications, young job seekers today are screening their prospective employers for value alignment. Moreover, the younger generation is redefining the very nature of work, demanding more flexibility with many people choosing to work on a freelance basis and juggling several projects at the same time. Considering that by 2015 Millennials will constitute 75% of the global workforce and by 2020 freelancers are expected to make up 50% of the full time workforce, companies are taking note of these trends and are changing the way they do business to retain and recruit top talent.

As several recent studies point out, Millennials are increasingly interested in social and environmental issues and this is reflected in their expectations from businesses. In fact, the 2014 Deloitte Millennials Report indicates that 63% of Millennials donate to charities and 43% actively volunteer. The same survey reveals nearly 50% of Millennials want to work for a business with ethical practices. They believe business can do more to address society’s challenges of resource scarcity (68%), climate change (65%) and income inequality (64%).

These larger societal trends are translating into what younger people consider important when choosing jobs. The 2012 Net Impact Survey results show that “employer has similar values” was ranked high by both workers (67%) and graduating students (74%), followed by “contribution to society” and “make a better world”. The same survey reveals that job satisfaction is also significantly higher among those employees that have the opportunity to make a direct social and environmental impact by a 2:1 ratio. Similarly, two-thirds of graduating university students report making a difference through their next job is a priority and 45% of students say they would take a pay cut to do so.

As demand for impact jobs grows, so do opportunities to hone the necessary skills. Currently, more than 30 business schools in the U.S., Canada and England offer graduate coursework on social entrepreneurship. Many business and public service schools have well-established centers for social innovation, social entrepreneurship and impact investing that provide their students with both academic and hands-on training to succeed in impact investing and social entrepreneurship sectors.

Responding to these emerging  trends, employers are changing the way they do business and are creating more jobs with social and environmental impact. Corporations are changing their operations to become more sustainable. Some businesses go even further and structure public-private partnerships to directly affect certain causes. For example, Nando’s, a South African restaurant group, and Coca Cola launched social impact bonds to fight malaria in Africa. This trend towards greater sustainability and social impact among businesses is evidenced by a growing number of B Corporations. There are now more than 1,000 B Corps from 33 countries and over 60 industries. The Wall Street Journal explains that “more companies are touting the B Corp logo, a third-party seal of environmental and social credentials, to attract young job seekers who want an employer committed to both a social mission and the bottom line.”

It is clear that both supply and demand for impact jobs is there. However, there is a lack of information on both sides to effectively connect job seekers and employers. There is a need for a crowdsourcing platform for impact jobs that would enable companies to connect and communicate easily with pre-vetted professionals to complete a given project. Similar crowdsourcing platforms abound in sectors such as IT, sales, fashion, and translations.  For example, Lionbridge Enterprise Crowdsourcing focuses on helping brands increase their international market share and offers 140,000 fully screened crowd workers in 102 countries. Such a platform enables employers to compete for top talent and set competitive pay while reducing the costs of hiring and training new fulltime employees. Job seekers would be able to shop for meaningful projects matching their area of interest and their desired level of flexibility. This may be a way to harness current momentum, engage more people in purposeful projects and multiply social and environmental impact.

by Jenna Nicholas, Toniic Fellow

Jenna Nicholas 150

Better Ventures Startup School

Are you a technology startup solving a big and important problem?  Are you embarking on a minimum viable product and planning to raise capital in the future?  If so, you may be a great candidate for Better Ventures Startup School, based at Impact Hub Oakland and sponsored by Vodafone Foundation.  The quarterly program consists of six interactive workshop sessions with a focus on Customer Development, Fundraising & Pitching, and networking with other entrepreneurs.  Register here for our kickoff sessions on Thursday, November 20th and Thursday, December 4th.  For more information or to apply for our next cohort beginning in January, visit

Toniic Announces Support from Omidyar Network

San Francisco, USA and Mumbai, India (August 18, 2014) – Toniic – a global network of over 120 action-oriented impact investors – is pleased to announce the financial support of philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network. Toniic increases the velocity of money and services into impact investing to address global challenges. The Omidyar Network grant will be used to support Toniic’s global expansion and operations.

Led by Stephanie Cohn-Rupp and Shalaka Joshi, Toniic’s presence spans more than 21 countries, where its members have invested millions of dollars in support of social ventures. Toniic’s members commit to discover, evaluate, nurture, and invest in entrepreneurs, enterprises, and funds that promote a sustainable economy.

Omidyar Network’s funding comes through the firm’s impact investing initiative, which provides financial and human capital to strategically support organizations working to advance impact investing globally.

“The capacity building of impact investors is a crucial gap that needs to be addressed so that smarter capital can reach stronger enterprises more quickly. Toniic’s pioneering platform can help us unlock this capital by enabling investors to thrive in a community of learning and practice,” said, Paula Goldman, senior director of knowledge and advocacy at Omidyar Network. “We look forward to working with Toniic to continue to build and support the impact investing market worldwide.”

“We are delighted to be working with a forward-thinking, global group like Omidyar Network. Their support will channel more venture capital towards sustainable solutions to our world’s most pressing problems. Toniic is excited to play a leading role in PI supporting and democratizing impact investing globally,” said Shalaka Joshi, Toniic’s managing director for Asia-Pacific and chief investment officer.

Toniic is cross-sectoral and cross-country, and hosts over 50 social venture showcases every year. It is committed to democratizing impact investing across asset classes to eventually enable the entire investment spectrum – from crowdsourcing to ultra-high net worth individuals – to support social enterprises.

“This partnership will significantly strengthen our work as one of the largest global networks of high-impact investors. We are grateful for Omidyar Network’s support in enabling Toniic’s expansion, ” noted Toniic CEO Stephanie Cohn-Rupp.


GSF India


British Council

Next Billion: Interview with Stephanie Cohn Rupp

Sonen Capital’s 2013 Annual Impact Report

Foundations for Social Impact Bonds by Social Finance

Towards 100 Percent Impact: Do You PYMWYMIC?

by Liz Wilson

(originally published on the Huffington Post)

How can you align your intentions with actions?

This was one of the key questions that the Put Your Money Where Your Mouth (and Meaning) Is Community (PYMWYMIC) discussed at their annual Impact Days from 7-9th April in Amsterdam. The community of around 250 family foundation members, individual philanthropists, and investors gathered to assess how to link investment actions to meaningful impact.

Can you have 100 percent impact?

One hundred percent impact investment portfolios are possible, according to a keynote speaker Lisa Kleissner from the KL Felicitas Foundation. She challenged the PYMWYMIC participants to review, and if necessary change, the way in which they managed and spent their money, and that of the organisations they worked with. If 1 percent or 2 percent impact was achievable, then there should be no need to compromise on reaching a 100 percent impact goal.

A big barrier to achieving impact for Lisa and her husband had been convincing investment managers that ‘100 percent impact’ was a viable investment strategy. To that end, KL Felicitas Foundation had pioneered an open data approach to their investments, sharing financial information to have a positive demonstration effect. Working with partners Sonen Capital, the foundation published a ground-breaking report in 2013 detailing the financial performance of the foundation’s impact portfolio. A second report will be published in late 2014.

The Kleissners are not alone, and connect with other uncompromising impact investors through the action community for global impact investing Toniic and the ‘100 percent folks’. Their appetite for risk may seem significant, but Lisa is adamant that steady returns are there for all to access. The Kleissners unite ‘intention’ with strong and active ‘attention’ to their investments, and hope that their foundation’s work will provide a positive example to inspire others to act.

Agriculture for Impact?

In terms of impact investment opportunities, sustainable banker Triodos, and Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO led two separate sessions on the challenges, risks and solutions that are present in agribusiness deals. The overriding message was clear: this is a sector that calls for research, patience, and context-specific engagement. FMO summarised some of their primary considerations in assessing potential impacts:

What impact do you want to have?

Being clear on intention and objectives is vital. Impact is different in different contexts. For example, you achieve a very different outcome in different geographies and biophysical landscapes. The risks to manage in New Zealand will be very different to those in Tanzania.

What is the local view about impact?

Is your ambition for impact consistent with that of the local population? How do they perceive and value this intention? Community consultation and involvement is critical. For example, mechanisation might seem a no-brainer, but it might come at a cost of local jobs and traditional farming knowledge and techniques.

Have you considered the wider context?

Intention is not enough. Focusing on one specific issue, without considering the whole picture, might lead to obstacles and challenges later down the line. Agricultural impact investing can be messy and complicated. There may be trade-offs involved. You need to take a holistic approach. Quoting Abraham Maslow, a FMO colleague said,

If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

Impact investing in action

The Impact Days offered PYMWYMIC members the opportunity to put their learning and enthusiasm into action, by pledging support for one or more of 12 social entrepreneurs. Stichting DOEN offered €25,000 of top-up investment to catalyse pledges. The dynamism and energy of this group of entrepreneurs was a striking example of the explosion of high-quality and exciting investment opportunities that can contribute to 100 percent impact investing strategies.

PYMYWYMIC is celebrating 20 years of investing for impact, and the meeting paid tribute to the fact that they are part of a growing global movement of like-minded people who want to match their investing intentions with impact in a practical way. But as this space continues to expand, the pressure to understand impact is greater than ever. Quick polling of PYMWYMIC attendees showed that there was a wide variety of views as to which impacts are important for individuals and organisations.

As the impact investment community continues to enthusiastically grow, we need to ensure that equal, if not greater effort, goes into finding a common language to define impact. We must also research and develop more sophisticated tools to measure it. We can learn from and build on the frontier work that sector leaders such as PYMWYMIC and others have done. In many respects impact investing is just getting started; and the work to achieve impact at scale has only just begun.

Follow Liz Wilson on Twitter:


Announcing the release of the Spanish version of toniic’s acclaimed E-Guide to Early-Stage Impact Investing

Impact investing in early-stage enterprises, although challenging, can be extremely rewarding and potentially provide both financial and social or environmental returns. It allows investors to improve the lives of the poor or vulnerable—locally and globally—while providing a return on capital. Yet few comprehensive guides exist for investors.

To help navigate this opportunity, the Toniic Institute—in collaboration with Duke University’s CASE i3—has released a first-of-its-kind online primer, the “E-Guide to Early-Stage Global Impact Investing.” Production of the guide was made possible by a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation.

“Our members view early-stage impact investing as a critical pillar in a holistic investment strategy. Yet no guides currently exist for new or potential investors,” said Stephanie Cohn Rupp, CEO of Toniic, a global network of impact investors in more than 20 countries. “This publication was written specifically to make it easier for interested investors to deploy their capital in support of early-stage social enterprises, by sharing active impact investor stories and consolidating the established resources and organizations which support this space.”

Sourced from the experiences of the Toniic Network’s member investors, this e-guide is a fundamental reference for anyone seeking to understand how to successfully invest at the early stage for both a financial return and social or environmental impact. The guide includes:

  •  A brief overview of impact investing;
  •  A detailed “7-Step Framework”, based on feedback from global impact investors starting with developing your own investment strategy;
  •  Four case studies that explore enterprise development and the types of capital and resources accessed; and
  •  Regional guides that illustrate legal and practical challenges in six major regions across the globe, including lessons learned and peer contact information.

Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO and President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), on Toniic’s e-guide: “Toniic’s very valuable e-guide has the tools to start or enhance your investment strategy, whether your goal is to build value close to home or around the world.” Many experts in the sector of impact investing are endorsing the e-guide: Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman of Big Society Capital, Jed Emerson of ImpactAssets, and the World Economic Forum to name only a few.

Co-author Cathy Clark, Director of CASE i3 at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, on early-stage impact investing: “Early-stage is a particularly important and rewarding time in the life of an enterprise for an investor to contribute both key capital and expertise. When a social enterprise is pre-revenue or just beginning to earn revenue, the groundwork is laid for the company’s customers, business model, impact thesis—or its theory of change about how it will create social value— and overall sustainability. This unique period holds tremendous potential for an investor to achieve impact.”

Zia Khan, Vice President, Initiatives and Strategy at The Rockefeller Foundation: “This e-guide from Toniic provides vital information to help those looking to invest in social enterprises that benefit the poor or vulnerable. The diverse case studies contained within this guide come from around the world, and demonstrate the power of layering grant and investment capital to propel the impact investing industry forward. These examples bring valuable perspective from those working on the frontline, and show impact investing in action.”

View the PDF report

About Toniic
Toniic is a global network of action-oriented impact investors – both individuals and institutions. We increase the velocity of money and services into impact investing to address global challenges. Our members commit to discover, evaluate, nurture and invest in entrepreneurs, enterprises and funds that promote a just and sustainable economy.

About Toniic Institute
The Toniic Institute is a 501(c)3 entity that manages Toniic’s work on research and advocacy in the impact investment field. Toniic Institute’s mission is to make relevant original knowledge and materials available for impact investors in order to broaden the field of impact investing and deepen understanding amongst impact investors and social entrepreneurs.

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision making. For more information, please visit

About Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business CASE i3
CASE i3’s mission is to establish a rich set of resources and activities for MBA students, entrepreneurs, investors, funders, academics and policymakers to explore and support the field of Impact Investing over its critical period of development over the next 5-10 years. CASE i3 is part of CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship), the award-winning research and education center based at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, which promotes the entrepreneurial pursuit of social impact through the thoughtful adaptation of business expertise.

Crowdfunding for Impact in Europe and the USA

This report has been prepared by the Toniic Institute in partnership with the European Crowdfunding Network. It seeks to frame the opportunity for cooperation between impact investing and the equity and debt crowdfunding sectors in the US and Europe.
Although many research papers focus on crowdfunding or impact investing, very few explore how crowdfunding can scale debt or equity impact investing. Yet there is a strong fit between the two–and there is an undeniable need and significant opportunity for social entrepreneurs to leverage online platforms to access investors, and for investors to access greater dealflow.More than one million campaigns are estimated to have raised $2.7 billlion worldwide across all types of crowdfunding platforms in 2012. This figure is expected to reach $5.1 billion in 2013, almost double the 2012 figure.  Given these trends, the impact investing community is showing interest in equity and/ or debt-based crowdfunding as a tool for harvesting more impact opportunities. This report illustrates the progress of crowdinvesting for impact in the EU and the USA, while also highlighting risks, regional regulatory differences and case studies of successful online impact investments.

Despite the challenges ahead, this report offers an optimistic outlook for the equity and debt crowdfunding sector, and about the possibilities for impact investors to operate successfully within this sector. In addition to broad compatibility in terms of geographic location and choice of financial instruments, the opportunity for investors is framed by certain key investment indicators which can be derived from the crowd: social proofing/proof of concept, product validation and market size. Of course, the risks and challenges
for investors and social entrepreneurs are significant. However, we expect these risks to be largely, although not entirely, mitigated through solid regulatory frameworks and a competitive environment for crowdfunding platforms enforcing principles of transparency, self-regulation and social and environmental responsibility.

In keeping with the principle of democratization of capital through crowdfunding, Toniic is pioneering the notion that equity or debt-based crowdfunding can be a tool to democratize impact investing.

Creating a Better Future Through Transparency

By Lisa Kleissner for the Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog

We need more investors to share their impact performance data.

Stuck in traffic recently, I had time to check out the bumper sticker on the car ahead of me. Although faded by the sun, the message stood out: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” My husband, Charly, and I have been creating our future as long as I can remember. We began the day we met—at Honolulu International Airport—back in 1974. Our efforts continue to this day with our personal wealth and through our philanthropy as the KL Felicitas Foundation.

Read More

Evolution of an Impact Portfolio: From Implementation to Results

Sonen Capital, a leading Social & Environmental impact investment firm, in collaboration with the KL Felicitas Foundation (KLF), announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind report detailing the financial performance of an impact investing portfolio. The report, titledEvolution of an Impact Portfolio: From Implementation to Resultsdemonstrates to investors that impact investments can compete with, and at times outperform, traditional asset allocation strategies while pursuing meaningful and measurable social and environmental impact results.

Evolution of an Impact Portfolio is written for asset owners, advisors, and other intermediaries interested in learning more about building diversified impact portfolios anchored in rigorous financial analysis and ongoing assessments of factors affecting macroeconomic conditions.

Read More

Impact Investing in West Africa

Impact Investing in West Africa, a report written by Dalberg Global Development Advisors and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, is the first comprehensive analysis ever conducted on the impact investing industry in West Africa.

The report aims to: map the landscape of impact investing supply and demand in West Africa; identify the substantive challenges that hamper the growth of the industry and recommend solutions for overcoming them; and serve as a starting point for regional dialogue and local network development activities among impact investors.

Why Translation is a Key Tenet of Natural Capitalism

Natural capitalists and financial capitalists don’t often come face to face, but theWorld Forum on Natural Capital will bring these two groups together. Of course, some are members of both communities. What will happen?

But let’s assume that the natural capitalists have a shared mission to accelerate corporate behavior change to create an economy that runs within environmental limits.  What then are the key tools natural capitalists must acquire and deploy for success?  I propose three above all – translation, pragmatism and stamina.

J.P.Morgan Social Finance Providing Financial Services For Impact Investments

Forbes Asia interviewed Amy Bell, Head of Principal Investments for J.P. Morgan Social Finance, which provides financial services to the growing market for impact investments, meaning those investments made with intent to generate impact alongside a financial return.

She has overseen the group’s principal investment portfolio, which seeks to earn a reasonable rate of return alongside of achieving positive impact on low-income and excluded populations around the world. The deals completed to date include investments in MicroVest II, the LeapFrog Financial Inclusion Fund, IGNIA, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, and the African Agricultural Capital Fund.

Read More

Investor’s Circle

Toniic Global Meeting (Big Sur, California)

Monday and Tuesday
September 2nd and 3rd
Families welcome

Latin America Practice Group Call

Tuesday August 6th
9:00am-11:00am Pacific Time
17h00 UK / 19h00 CEST

Asia Practice Group Call

Tuesday July 30th
9:00am-11:00am Pacific Time
17h00 UK / 19h00 CEST

Alternative Deal Structures Call

Tuesday July 23rd
8:00am-9:00am Pacific Time
16h00 UK / 17h00 CEST

Haiti Investment Opportunities Call

Tuesday July 16th
9:00am-11:00am Pacific Time
17h00 UK / 19h00 CEST


Portapure manufactures and sells water purification products where clean drinking water is inaccessible. This includes remote communities and natural disaster sites. In these situations, Portapure’s products provide clean drinking water for survival. Portapure is the inventor, technology owner, manufacturing mold owner, trademark owner, and copyright holder for all product offerings. Leveraging its patented technology, Portapure has created a set of products that are: Proven to exceed stringent health and safety standards; Superior price compared to existing alternatives; Designed for portability and ease-of-use
To differentiate from the current competitors, Portapure leverages technology, affordability and the right product-market fit driven through focus group customer analysis. Portapure has designed portable water systems to make water from any river, lake, or stream safe to consume by removing all known viruses and bacteria.
Portapure’s current main product offering is:
PureLives – A home-use, 5-gallon water purification device

Waste Capital Partners

Urban India produces a mound of garbage every week that weighs more than twice the Empire State Building. Only half of this is collected and dumped. Little is processed despite municipalities spend half their budget on the issue. Residents are fed up. Waste Capital Partners trains and employs waste pickers to conduct doorstep waste collection in small towns in India for a monthly subscription from the household itself. Waste Capital Partners then environmentally processes the waste forming a quality soil amendment they sell to local farmers and also aggregate and sell recyclables. In total, 85% of the waste is environmentally processed, 20,000 carbon tons are averted per 100,000 households, and the income of the waste picker is doubled. The business is already cashflow positive and recently secured interest from key state officials in two major states of India. Its board consists of the founders of SELCO, BASIX, and IDE-I and its management has 40+ years of operational experience in profitable social enterprise businesses with a focus on Public Private Partnerships.

Digital Divide Data

Digital Divide Data (DDD) is a social business that creates jobs for talented youth in emerging market countries by delivering high-quality content business process outsourcing (BPO) services to clients. DDD’s social enterprise empowers staff with the skills and experience they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Founded in 2001, DDD develops a strong workforce in countries with untapped talent. The organization identifies and recruits motivated, disadvantaged youth who would not otherwise have access to good jobs or higher education. DDD alumni go on to high-skilled positions in which they earn more than four times the average regional wage. This enables them to break the cycle of poverty that traps their families. With a sustainable approach to growth, DDD employs more than 1000 people across offices in Cambodia, Laos, Kenya.


Copia Global Inc (“Copia”) is a consumer catalog order and delivery system for nonperishable and durable goods serving Base of the Pyramid consumers in the developing world. By making accessible a wide range of consumer goods from thread to sewing machines, from nails to hammers, from matches to solar lights, Copia’s mission is to improve the quality of life of BoP people, transforming them into empowered global consumers. Much as the Sears catalog revolutionized life in the pioneer days of the United States and Amazon revolutionized life in the internet age, the Company will apply many of the same marketing and distribution concepts to this huge untapped market. Copia launched a 12 month pilot in Nairobi, Kenya in August 2012. Already sales (both number of orders and revenues) have exceeded expectations, providing proof of concept for this revolutionary idea. Meaning “abundance” in Latin, Copia was founded by Jonathan Lewis and Tracey Turner and is led by CEO Crispin Murira.


Crowdfunder helps fund social enterprises, startups and small businesses through a unique blend of 2 powerful crowdfunding models: Investment or Rewards-based crowdfunding. Crowdfunder also uniquely localizes crowdfunding down to the community level with CROWDFUNDx, providing free dedicated online communities for groups, cities and angel groups to empower their membership and syndicate deals to the crowd.

One of our most recent CROWDFUNDx initiatives was CROWDFUNDxImpact for Social Enterprises, which had over 4,000 new community members join online and over 150 social enterprises enter. We created multiple funding outcomes and had over $100M in impact investment capital in attendance at the live pitch event finale for CROWDFUNDxImpact.

Hub Ventures

Hub Ventures is a startup accelerator and seed fund for entrepreneurs building a better world. The program provides seed funding, mentorship & guidance, collaborative workspace, and investor connections to startups developing scalable technology solutions to improve livelihoods and reduce the consumption of resources around the world. Hub Ventures is filling the seed-funding gap for impact startups working in a variety of verticals including job creation, health & wellness, education, collaborative consumption, off-grid energy, and more. We have accelerated 29 companies since 2011, over 60% of which have raised millions in follow-on funding, and over 80% of which are operating today. Hub Ventures is part of the Global Accelerator Network, championed by TechStars, and is backed by an all-star lineup of partners including Good Capital, Hub Bay Area, and Lakeland Ventures Development.

Niall O’Cathasaigh

Niall is a founder and partner of ManoCap, a private equity fund management company that has been making equity investments in small to mid-cap enterprises in West Africa since 2006. He has lived in Sierra Leone since 2004, initially working as the Financial Controller for GOAL Sierra Leone, and since November 2005 on the development of ManoCap.

Niall is a qualified management accountant (CIMA) with an industry background. He has previously worked as an Accounting and Finance manager for Apple Computer at their European Headquarters and as Accounting Manager for the French subsidiary companies of Avery Dennison.

Niall established and exited his own business in Ireland before training to become an accountant.

Liesbet Peeters

Liesbet Peeters is a founding partner at D. Capital. She advises foundations, development institutions and private investors on impact investing and innovative finance in emerging markets.

She has particular expertise on structuring financing facilities that combine public and private stakeholders in tackling development challenges across multiple sectors. Her experience includes advising a number of health- focused foundations on developing more sustainable funding solutions for diseases like malaria and HIV, advising a large donor on setting up a new global education fund to enroll out-of-school children, and advising numerous private family foundations on structuring impact investing vehicles to invest in SMEs in Africa & Latin America. Prior to joining Dalberg, she founded an investment advisory firm, Lapiluz Advisory Services, based in Belgium and London. She was previously the CFO/Investor Relations Manager with Capricorn Venture Partners in Belgium; an Investment Officer with the Grassroots Business Fund at the IFC. Liesbet has an MBA from MIT and a Master’s degree in Commercial Engineering from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

Aner-Ben Ami

Aner was a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group, where he worked with clients in the energy, water and transportation sectors. Aner is an experienced management consultant, with 5+ years of experience developing growth and business development strategies for industry leaders in the water, energy and transportation sectors. Aner holds an MBA with honors from the Kellogg School of Management and a BA in Economics and History (magna cum laude) from Tel Aviv University.

Aner is passionate about re-defining the role of business and finance and believes investment capital can catalyze a transition to a more just and sustainable economic system.

Wes Selke

Wes is Founding Director of Hub Ventures, a startup accelerator for entrepreneurs building a better world.

Hub Ventures provides seed funding, mentorship, collaborative workspace, and investor connections to startups building scalable technology solutions to improve livelihoods and reduce resource consumption. Wes is also the Investment Manager for Good Capital’s Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, where he leads deal sourcing, due diligence, transaction execution, and engagement for a portfolio of growth-stage companies focused on education and sustainable supply chains. He is actively engaged with the portfolio as Chairman of the Board for Alter Eco and as Board Observer for Better World Books and Adina for Life. Prior to Good Capital, Wes spent two years as an Equity Research Associate at William Blair & Company covering the Digital Media Sector, and four years with Ernst & Young Corporate Finance where he advised privately held companies on mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring transactions. He earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and a BBA from the University of Michigan. Wes is an active member of Christ Church East Bay, where he serves as a parish leader and director of the financial advisory board. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and two young kids and enjoys cycling in the East Bay hills and Sunday trips to the local farmers market.

Toniic is Hiring: Toniic Internship

About Toniic

Toniic LLC is a global network of action-oriented impact investors, both individuals and institutions. We increase the velocity of money and services into impact investing to address global challenges. Our members commit to discover, evaluate, nurture and invest in entrepreneurs, enterprises and funds that are changing the world for the better. Between our 45 members, we are looking to place $100 million into global social enterprise. Over this next year we will expand significantly globally, while also going deeper with our current members to enhance their investment practice, and by extension, their potential for social impact.

The Position

Toniic is seeking a San Francisco-based intern for 25 hours a week over an 8-week period starting July 8, 2013. The position will provide exposure to social entrepreneurs and to impact investors part of the Toniic Network. Responsibilities include:

  • Conducting research on the impact investment industry and writing briefs on specific geographies or sectors
  • Conducting research on the crowdfunding industry as it relates to impact investing (in the donation, equity and debt-based crowdfunding sectors)
  • Preparing marketing materials
  • Supporting our deal flow manager and membership service director in updating relevant deal databases
  • Preparing and attending investor calls and meetings
  • Attending impact investing industry events
  • Conducting other tasks as necessary

Required Skills/Experience

Candidates must:

  • Possess strong inter-personal, written and oral communication skills
  • Be part of an MBA or MPA or other relevant Masters program
  • Have a passion for the impact investment industry and a desire to join the industry post-graduation
  • Be comfortable with multiple software/online platforms; including Xcel, Powerpoint, Salesforce, the Google suite etc.
  • Have strong research skills and enjoy understanding trends in a nascent yet global industry
  • Be based in the San Francisco or Bay Area
  • Be ready to bring the level of creativity, commitment, time, patience, and humor it takes to work with a start-up organization


Toniic offers to pay $1500 as a stipend for 25hrs/week over the 8-week period. The hours of work are flexible though it will be required to join the team in the San Francisco office for at least 2 days a week.

Application Process

Please email your resume, cover letter, writing sample, salary history and the names of 3 references to by July 15, 2013, with the title: “Toniic Internship”. Please note that only candidates invited for an interview will be contacted. Thank you for your interest in Toniic!

Toniic is Hiring: Membership Services Director

Membership Services Director

About Toniic

Toniic LLC is a global network of action-oriented impact investors, both individuals and institutions. We increase the velocity of money and services into impact investing to address global challenges. Our members commit to discover, evaluate, nurture and invest in entrepreneurs, enterprises and funds that are changing the world for the better. Between our 45 members, we are looking to place $100 million into global social enterprise. Over this next year we will expand significantly globally, while also going deeper with our current members to enhance their investment practice, and by extension, their potential for social impact.

The Position

Toniic is seeking a Membership Services Director to lead our membership activities. Primary responsibilities are ensuring member satisfaction with Toniic, and providing support for the CEO in various areas. You will be an individual contributor, with wide responsibilities:

Member Services

• Leads on-boarding and some ongoing interaction/communication with new members
• Creates and executes systems for the collection and management of member, meeting and deal data, including analysis of results and trends
• Shares responsibility for individual member management
• Assists members as they complete Toniic deals
• Increases retention of Toniic members through innovation, and incorporation of best practices

Member Meetings

• Provides all project management to ensure successful monthly meetings, including technology systems, facilities, etc.
• Leads and/or supports regional/sector meetings as necessary

Deal Flow and Deal Execution Management

• Coordinate with Deal Flow Manager to track deal execution
• Accountable for maintenance of tracking and CRM systems

Supporting Roles:

• Provides materials and research support for online and offline marketing activities
• Leads CRM implementation and communication strategy
• Produces and manages Toniic newsletter to external stakeholders

Business Development
• Provides materials and research support for the recruitment of strategic partners (sponsors & non-sponsors) and members
• Shares foundation fundraising responsibilities

Other Back-Office
• Responsible for purchasing, implementing and service provider relationship for IT systems
• Responsible for maintenance of the Toniic website

Required Skills/Experience

Candidates must:
• Possess very strong inter-personal and communication skills
• Be detail-oriented and organized
• Entrepreneurial positive attitude a must!
• Have an understanding of the impact investment industry
• Be fully comfortable with multiple software/online platforms; including Excel, PowerPoint, Salesforce, the Google suite, Drupal or other web management software, etc.
• Have strong data management skills—collection, interpretation, turning into tangible action
• Based in the San Francisco or Bay Area
• Be ready to bring the level of creativity, commitment, time, patience, and humor it takes to work with a start-up organization

The ideal candidate would additionally:

• Have experience working with high net worth individuals in a “customer service” capacity
• Have marketing experience
• Have design or web development capabilities
• Have proficiency in multiple languages
• Have experience as an investor or investment manager in seed stage, VC or impact investments


Based on experience and salary history. This is a part-time role at 30 hours a week, initially – with the potential of scaling to full time. This role provides flexible working hours and is ideal for someone interested in getting into the impact investing industry.

Application Process

Please email your resume, cover letter, a writing sample, and the names of 3 references to Please note that only candidates that are invited for an interview will be contacted.

Nikolaus Hutter

Nikolaus has been leading the European growth and development of Toniic since April of 2012. An investment executive and entrepreneur with close to 15 years international experience, Nikolaus also initiated the first capacity building program for social entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe, together with Social Impact International and the HUB Vienna. Prior, he worked 10 years as Venture Capital investor, most recently as Sector Partner Cleantech with CEE investment firm 3TS Capital Partners, and as a Partner with Austrian VC firm Gamma Capital Partners, where he build the Cleantech practice.

Nikolaus serves on the board and as an advisor to several organizations in the social entrepreneurship and impact investment space, including the Investment Committee of social VC fund ennovent, the Advisory Board of the HUB, and the business advisor network of NESsT. Further, he has been lecturing on Social Entrepreneurship since 2008.

Stephanie Cohn Rupp

Stephanie brings over a decade of experience in global impact investing, impact fund design and implementation, and microfinance, as well as more recently experience in crowd funding. 
Stephanie served as an executive team member of Razoo, a crowd funding platform where she led business development. She spent five years with Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, managing investments in debt, equity, LoC and grants for US, South Asia, West Africa and Latin America enterprises focused on property rights and microfinance. Before Omidyar, she held positions at Planet Finance, UBS Investment Bank in NYC and London, and served as a consultant to the World Bank and UNESCO. Stephanie has served on the board of four international non-profits and two global investment funds and is currently on the board of Women Thrive Worldwide and Latet USA. 
Stephanie is Franco-American, bilingual and holds a Series 7 Securities License. She holds a B.Sc. in Politics and Philosophy from Bristol University, a M.Sc. in Comparative Government from the LSE and an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School with a focus on Trade and Finance. She lives with her husband and daughter in San Francisco.

Deal Flow Overview

8:00am-9:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Deals Completed: Story-Telling

8:00am-9:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

European Ski Trip

23-24 February 2013

Weekend Outing

Diligence Follow-Up Calls

13 February 2013

8:00am-10:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Global Member Meeting

12 February 2013

9:00am-11:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Theme Meeting: Africa

31 January 2013

9:00am-10:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Theme Meeting: Latin America

21 January 2013

9:00am-10:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

Theme Meeting: India

17 January 2013

9:00am-10:00am Pacific Time

17h00 UK / 18h00 CEST

François de Borchgrave

I joined Toniic because it allows me to become a more efficient impact investor: reaching more deals, being surrounded by smart and experienced people sharing their perspective, being connected to relevant local resources to support the investment process and making sure there is fun in the process!

Having previously worked for Excite, The Boston Consulting Group’s e-commerce practice, and Belgacom’s small business division, François de Borchgrave completes the trio of Belgian entrepreneurs who founded Smarterwork in 1999. Meeting co-founders Bruno Monteyne and Jan van Den Berghe at Harvard, François has been instrumental in setting up Smarterwork’s US operations and in developing strategic partnerships.

François has a background in telecoms and e-commerce with experience gained at Belgacom (Belgium’s national telecoms operator), Excite and The Boston Consulting Group. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School.