Toniic Member CODE OF CONDUCT – version 1.2
Toniic has a beautiful and amazing culture. The following member Code of Conduct is intended to make more explicit the norms that have created that culture, particularly for the benefit of new members. By setting clear expectations, it is our hope and experience that we rarely have to do any enforcement, because our members embody these norms naturally.
- Bring your whole self
- Respect confidentiality and privacy
- Share, but don’t sell
- Be one of multiple voices in the room
- Honor others wherever they are on their journey towards impact or their understanding of financial instruments
- Think action: what commitments can be made to increase the impact of the community?
Confidentiality is the baseline commitment of Toniic membership. Toniic members promise one another they will not divulge any confidential information of another member, including information pertaining to any specific investments, to any other person (including Toniic members not present). This is fundamental to the sense of trust in our community. It also may be required by various securities laws and laws prohibiting insider trading. Our confidentiality commitment is absolute and tightly interpreted. Any relaxation of this rule will be explicit at the time, such as recording a presentation to share outside the network with the consent of the presenters.
Member Impact Amplification
We ask each member to articulate what they most want to give to the Toniic community or the impact investing field. Many members have independent activities to build the field of impact investing. Membership in Toniic includes a commitment to activate our inherent generosity to amplify the impact of fellow members and to give back to the community and society at large, in the unique ways and to the degree we each feel called.
Share, Don’t Sell
The general principle of Toniic for all members is “share, but don’t sell.” If it is relevant to share the learnings or focus of your fund or advisory practice in a presentation or a conversation among members, feel free. But it is not acceptable to propose/solicit an investment, or to initiate a conversation with the primary intention of selling an investment opportunity or services, except during a funds call or deal call where the intent to solicit is clear in advance, or in follow-up initiated by an interested member.
There are other parts of the impact ecosystem (such as SoCap) that are marketplaces. Toniic is a global community of active impact investors, not a marketplace. When sellers of products or services are invited into our community of trust, it is with the expectation they will enrich and help us preserve the spirit of peer-to-peer assistance among active impact investors, and not misuse the privilege of access to inappropriately promote a product or service.
Toniic Membership is primarily for principal investors, and we are keen to preserve the spirit of the Toniic community as a safe zone for building community and sharing information and opportunities among investors. This is complicated, however, because many Toniic members have multiple roles, including directly investing their own capital and fundraising.
Given these multiple roles, we seek in vetting potential members to invite only those who are joining primarily as active impact investors of their own money rather than primarily to fundraise. But we recognize that is not a bright line distinction, and needs additional support to preserve the special culture of Toniic.
Guidelines for Fundraising
One framework to support this intention is full disclosure. We ask that any presentation at Toniic that includes a solicitation of a specific investment includes a disclosure of the presenters direct or indirect financial interest in the fundraising. This is meant to help the listener understand the motives of the presenter — are they seeking co-investment to close a round, or will they be directly compensated for money raised? One of Toniic’s long-term goals of systemic change is to foster greater transparency in the financial system. One way we model this behavior is to talk openly about potential conflicts of interest and how we are compensated for our efforts.
To promote transparency we ask that members interested in fundraising participate in the Toniic processes for direct deals and funds alongside with non-member entrepreneurs and fund managers, adhering to the same processes and without preferential treatment. In webinars and events we prioritize presenting those opportunities which receive the greatest expressions of interest from members within a given thematic area.
In addition to the regular process for investment opportunities, Toniic also organizes Member-2-Member open-space calls which are not curated by the Toniic team and where a member can reserve a slot to present her work or thinking, curate a conversation, or present an investment opportunity, provided that any direct financial interest is disclosed upfront.
No active fundraising is allowed or will be facilitated outside these channels.
Enforcement of this Code of Conduct
Another framework for preserving our culture is the “two strikes” rule. If any member(s) makes an official complaint to the Toniic team about inappropriate solicitation by another member to purchase goods or services or to invest, the offending member will be warned. If a subsequent incident sparks another complaint, that constitutes grounds for termination of Toniic membership. Breaches of confidentiality are subject to a “one strike” rule – a single clear breach of confidentiality is grounds for immediate termination of Toniic membership.
The Toniic team hold ultimate responsibility for enforcement of this Code of Conduct, but our community is strengthened when every member considers themselves Toniic ambassadors and respectfully reminds their fellow members of these intentions when necessary.