A reflection on our social impact investing between June 2020 – June 2021
As a community foundation we know full well the potential of pooling assets to deliver a more powerful impact. This year we reaffirmed that philosophy as preferred practice of collaborating with other investors – notably other foundations – on larger, and sometimes ground-breaking initiatives so that we can share the due diligence, best practices and risk. But it was also a year of firsts.
This year has marked a turning point in Toronto Foundation’s ability to put more of our assets to use for good. With the onboarding of RockCreek as our new Outsourced Chief Investment Officer, we’re on track to significantly increase the percentage of socially responsible investments in our main investment pool. Already this year money has been re-allocated to such investments and we expect that our board of directors will formally approve the foundation’s direction in socially responsible investing before the end of 2021.
Building on our COVID-recovery and equity lenses, we now also evaluate our social impact investments on whether and how those initiatives are led by and serve Black and Indigenous communities, as well as people of colour.
Finally, we expanded beyond traditional debt and limited partnerships with the approval of our first social impact bond, which closed in September 2021. Social impact bonds have returns that are tied to the measurable outcomes achieved. We see a promising future for social impact bonds.
Denise Arsenault, Chief Operating Officer
From June 2020 to June 2021, we made three new investments. To June 30 2021, we have made a total of 14 social impact investments.
It’s telling that we’ve now bought one of Canada’s first community bonds as well as one of the few national social impact bonds available. We’re ready to scale up and so is the sector. We hope you’ll join us.
Profiles of the 2020-2021 Investees
Parkdale's Neighbourhood Land Trust:
Preserve and Protect Guarantee Program
For many years, rooming houses have provided an important source of deeply affordable housing. But the Parkdale community was witnessing an alarming trend: affordable rooming houses and small buildings were disappearing. And the community had not been able to stop that decline.
Raven Indigenous Capital Partners
There is growing recognition that the Indigenous economy, valued at $32 billion, has enormous potential and its growth rate is outpacing the national rate.
While loans and debt-based capital are sometimes available to Indigenous entrepreneurs, founders of Raven Indigenous Capital Partners (Raven) believe a customized approach is essential.
SKETCH: Project Home
For 25 years, SKETCH has called the Queen West neighbourhood home and annually engages close to 1,000 young people, who live on the margins, through the transformative power of the arts.