Impact Investing has grown rapidly in the nearly 15 years since the term was coined, as awareness and commitment to investing for both financial and impact returns has grown among investors. Yet impact investing still represents less than 1% of all assets under management in the United States, with growth impeded by the relative immaturity of its enabling environment, or the field building “public goods” – such as industry networks, financial and impact data, and policy advocacy and incentives– which enable capital to flow efficiently in any market.
Camber was engaged by the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance (USIIA), hosted by the Ford Foundation, and the Omidyar Network, to develop the strategy and operating model for the Tipping Point Fund (TPF), a pooled grant vehicle to fund these core field building activities and spur the growth of the impact investing field. This work was done on behalf of, and in consultation with, the USIIA’s Presidents’ Council on Impact Investing, comprising 19 private foundation Presidents and representing over $80B in assets.
Camber facilitated a collaborative co-design process for the TPF, engaging over 30 impact investing subject matter experts, and a consultative group of prospective member foundation leadership to design the fund. Camber’s work to co-design the TPF included (1) a current state landscape of the impact investing market (Exhibit 1) and the challenges impeding its growth; (2) evaluation and prioritization of pooled investment priorities of the fund, prioritizing public goods unlikely to emerge spontaneously through market activity, yet critical to the continued growth of the impact investing (Exhibit 2); (3) design of its operating model and governance structure; and (4) developing the fundraising strategy and collateral pitch materials (prospectus, pitch deck, talking points, etc.).
The Tipping Point Fund launched in December 2019 with $12.5M in pooled grant funding from 9 member foundations. The Fund made its initial public policy-focused grants in July 2020. This first-of-its-kind pooled funding collaborative in the field of impact investing is demonstrating the potential to align funders’ financial and advocacy resources around a common theory of market development to accelerate progress.