Impact investing is the practice of investing capital with the intention of generating a social, environmental or economic impact that is both positive and measurable, alongside a financial return. 

The Foundation’s impact investing strategy builds upon its leadership in strengthening Milwaukee’s neighborhoods, particularly through its equitable economic opportunity strategy. Its entry into impact investing began with a pilot program that focused on job creation by supporting existing companies as well as entrepreneurship. Through the pilot, the Foundation ultimately invested nearly $1 million, contributing to the growth of 47 new small businesses, the creation of more than 85 jobs, the redevelopment of commercial spaces and the attraction of $4.9 million in additional public investment to local neighborhoods. Sherman Phoenix was one of the Foundation’s initial impact investments. A $300,000 Foundation loan provided first mortgage financing for the rehabilitation and renovation of a former BMO Harris Bank, which was damaged during the civil unrest in Sherman Park in 2016. The space is now a vibrant entrepreneurial hub that is home to 27 tenants.

Today, the Foundation’s impact investing program focuses on three core priorities – equitable economic opportunities (which includes improving job access and wealth creation through local job and business growth), affordable housing, and early childhood education. 

Learn More

dunn-web.pngContact Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Kathryn Dunn to learn more about our new impact investing strategy and the projects we’ve supported to date.