MCF’s Venture Impact Program (VIP): Seed Capital for Social Impact

venture impact marin community foundation

Imagine you hear about a mission-driven company that’s tackling an enormous environmental or social challenge that you deeply care about. Imagine if you could invest early in its success. Via philanthropy. Imagine no more.  

The Venture Impact Program is an initiative from MCF that enables impact investing through grantmaking. It provides donors with the unique ability to support for-profit businesses that are doing social or environmental good.  

What Makes It Unique  

The program enables donors to recommend a grant to invest in private mission-driven businesses, impact funds, and nonprofit organizations. Anywhere in the world. Donors can either choose to design their own custom impact grants or select from a curated platform of high-impact funds.  

A low entry point of $10,000 means donors can access unique opportunities and test the program with minimal risk.  

These grants can have both a measurable impact AND a possible financial return back to a  donor’s DAF.  

How it Works  

MCF has a partnership with ImpactAssets (IA), a market leader in impact investing. Leveraging  IA’s expertise and curated opportunities, MCF is able to offer donors a choice between two  options:  

  • A custom impact grant can be made when a donor has identified a specific organization they would like to support. The objective of the enterprise must be to solve a social or environmental challenge while generating a financial return – and a commitment to measuring and reporting on their impact. Upon approval by IA, the minimum amount for a custom grant is $25,000.  
  • A high-impact fund grant can be made when a donor wants to support an issue area,  via a fund that comprises multiple companies working in that field. Choose from a rotating selection of professionally managed global funds which focus on issues such as climate change solutions, ecoforestry, underserved small business owners, sustainable food and agriculture, the growing middle class in emerging markets and more. The minimum amount for a high-impact fund grant is $10,000.