Tim Freundlich is President of ImpactAssets, a boutique donor advised fund that specialises in socially responsible and impact investment options to mobilise human and financial capital towards a sustainable world. Tim is a long-term innovator in new financial instruments in the social enterprise sectors and was instrumental in establishing the precursor to ImpactAssets, the Calvert Giving Fund. Tim is also co-author of the ImpactAssets Handbook, an introductory text on how to become best positioned to engage in impact investing as an asset owner.
In this interview, Tim gives us an overview of ImpactAssets activities and the role of donor advised funds, philanthropic donations that are responsibly managed to maximise their long-term impact, allowing any individual donor in effect to be like the Gates Foundation. Tim discusses challenges and opportunities for financing small-scale social entrepreneurs and talks about different forms of impact investments, distinguishing between those that are “gap driven” and others that are “opportunity driven.” Tim is optimistic with regard to the millennial generation’s overwhelming support for purpose-driven business models. Given millennials are due to inherit the greatest generational wealth transfer in history this provides substantial opportunities for expanding such financial models. Finally, Tim stresses how impact investments’ rapid growth and proven track-record is changing finance and bringing impact led investing into the mainstream
(An edited version of this interview has previously been posted to the Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs podcast series.)