Investing for Impact

A foundation can use its resources in many ways beyond grants. At The Russell Family Foundation, we've explored and implemented impact investing through our financial portfolio since 2005. Impact investing is any financial investment that generates both a social and a financial return. 

Our Model

  • Impact Investing: Program-related investments (in the form loan below-market-rate loans) and mission-related investments.
  • Divest-Invest: Divestment of carbon in lieu of place-based investments to create jobs and regional opportunities for local people.
  • Loan Guarantees: Backing loans for community, environmental and social returns. 
  • Direct Deposits: CDs and Jumbo CDs at local community banks to bolster housing, economic, environmental and social benefits for local people and organizations.


Impact Investing Canopy Logo
Recently, The Russell Family Foundation joined with Meyer Memorial Trust and several others to launch Canopy, a new for-benefit research company focused on developing a pipeline of scalable, regionally-focused investment opportunities. Canopy connects its members to new opportunities that wouldn’t be otherwise possible.

Canopy is a new model for strengthening local communities and promoting economic development. They are driven by core values of transparency, accountability, curiosity and diversity.

By their very design, Canopy pushes the boundaries of the current for-profit/nonprofit paradigm. Canopy develops solutions to capitalize on the unique power of this, and your, great place.

Canopy's Model for Change

Innovative Finance

We have a vision of a sustainable and peaceful world for people, and to that end we've implemented a variety of different types of mission investments over the years. Below are some examples.

Dead Man's Pond: A New Partnership