Philanthropy and Social Investing

Pioneering new models of philanthropy

While the world changes at breakneck speed, philanthropy remains largely unchanged from a hundred years ago when Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller created the first foundations. The identification of problems and the search for solutions tends to proceed in relative isolation, increasing the fragmentation, inefficiency, and inflexibility of many of today's approaches to social change.

What we offer

In dozens of instances we have worked with foundations, networks, donors, and intermediaries to pioneer new models of philanthropy. We help philanthropic actors stay on the leading edge of change, combine effectively with other actors, and tap market-based approaches. We also work with innovators outside philanthropy to help build networks of organizations, develop new intermediaries, create new tools for grantmaking, and advance creative uses of financing such as impact investing, enterprise philanthropy, and social impact bonds.

Paticular areas of focus include: 

  • Making smarter grants that support innovation and build organizational strength
  • Learning and adapting to stay at the forefront of change
  • Using convening power effectively to rally talent and resources around a problem

Issue to Impact: Launching impact investing

The Issue:
In 2008 a group of institutions led by the Rockefeller Foundation set out to achieve the ambitious goal of inventing ways to increase the private capital being used to address the world’s social and environmental challenges. Rockefeller had brought together some of the early pioneers in the space, who had named this emerging field “impact investing.” However, the infrastructure was lacking for the group to find its voice and take action together, and it was not clear how this small group could turn into a meaningful industry when it lacked the infrastructure that existed in mainstream finance.

Our Impact:
We supported the Rockefeller Foundation as it brought together a collection of unusual collaborators, including traditional investors, early impact investors, foundations, and entrepreneurs who shared an interest in scaling up this nascent set of practices. Together these collaborators formed a new community committed to sharing best practices through sustained dialogue and reports such as Investing for Social & Environmental Impact. Monitor Institute then helped the collaborators form a new nonprofit, the Global Impact Investing Network. The report and the nonprofit together are now widely credited with catalyzing significant new private capital to support the burgeoning field of impact investing, a marketplace that Deloitte is now actively engaged in scaling up.

Issues to Impact collection: Read more stories about how our clients are making an impact