The KL Felicitas Foundation began pursuing impact investing as a way to break down the ‘firewall’ between the founders’ values and the decision-making underlying their investments. Rather than separating their personal values from the key decisions that help guide the Foundation’s investments and activities, Charly and Lisa Kleissner have actively integrated these values into the evaluation process for every investment that the Foundation makes.
Impact investing also enables the KL Felicitas Foundation to use a wide range of investment vehicles to support social enterprises, including grants, social loans, loan guarantees and private equity. Impact investing, aside from providing direct social or environmental gains, allows the Foundation to leverage its resources with this diversified set of tools, particularly when these resources are combined with the capital of other impact investors.
Grants are an Integral part of the Impact Investing Strategy
Grants are provided alongside many of the Foundation’s impact investments in order to help build the capacity and strength of the recipient enterprise. Often, in the early stages of starting a social enterprise, a subsidy is required to help pay the cost of operations until breakeven or profitability is reached. In other instances, these high-potential social enterprises may need some technical assistance, such as more robust accounting systems, to perform to their full potential and attract additional investment. Grants from KL Felicitas can be single events, or may be part of a multi-year strategy to help social enterprises gain scale and increase social impact over time.
The KL Felicitas Foundation, through its impact investing strategy, hopes to illustrate that social and environmental gains can be a central, and even profitable component of any private foundation’s investments.
Our Impact Investments Process
The KL Felicitas Foundation adheres to a rigorous and standardized process to identify, evaluate and then monitor all of its impact investments. Our first filter is to ensure that any potential investment is aligned with our values, our mission and to varying degrees our programming. Investments must then fall within the Foundation’s target asset allocation and fall within the parameters of the Foundation’s investment policy.
If a potential investment meets the above criteria, an Investment Evaluator form is completed to assist in final due diligence. You can also download the KL Felicitas Foundation Investment Evaluator Primer, which includes explanatory language and more background information.
Click here to read more about KL Felicitas Foundation’s Investment Evaluator and download the template.
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