White House Hosts Innovation Forum for Philanthropists

Friday, September 21, 2012

More than 150 leaders in philanthropy and finance gathered at the White House on Thursday for a private meeting on “innovation in philanthropy” that featured Jean Case, chief executive of the Case Foundation, as a keynote speaker.

Ms. Case appeared with U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios to discuss “impact investing” and strategies for getting more donors to channel their money into for-profit businesses that are advancing social missions. Ms. Case said more people would participate in impact investing if foundations could unite to devise uniform standards for tracking and measuring success.

“People with unbelievable track records of investing are sitting on the sidelines of impact investments,” Ms. Case said in an interview.

She announced at the meeting that Sonal Shah, the first director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, was joining the Case Foundation as a senior fellow to spur an increase in impact investments.

Ms. Case said one of the most innovative approaches discussed at the forum was a “crowd-funding” idea presented by Megan Kashner, founder of Benevolent. The Chicago nonprofit provides a platform for people to post their individual needs—school supplies for their children, for example—then verifies the request is legitimate and identifies a nonprofit that can help.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy (link opens in a new window)

impact investing, philanthropy