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Rapson featured in SSIR series on social investing in 2017

Social Investment Practice

This is an image of The Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip RapsonThe Stanford Social Innovation Review, in conjunction with Mission Investors Exchange, a foundation partner, launched an article series, “Mission Possible,” last week that will explore the central question of what 2017 holds for the impact investing sector. Twelve foundation leaders from across the country are weighing in on that question, including The Kresge Foundation’s President and CEO Rip Rapson.

In the article headlined, “Constancy and Thoughtful Realignment: The Next Era of Social Investing,” Rapson detailed Kresge’s  commitment to invest $350 million in social investments by 2020. From the article:

The 2016 election cycle has not altered this commitment, but it is worth pausing to reflect on whether the aims or forms of our social investment capital will change.

The answer is both no and yes. It seems unlikely that the new political calculus will necessarily translate into increases in the volume or quality of capital flows to places where the bedrock elements of opportunity are in short supply. There will be a persistent need to prime the pump or fill gaps for investments that spur affordable housing, support small business formation and growth, expand early childhood development opportunities, adapt public infrastructure to adapt to rising sea levels, or seek to even the playing field in so many other ways.

Philanthropic social investing doesn’t seek to substitute for private markets over the longer term. But it does seek to catalyze the markets—providing proof points for private and public investment; catalyzing financial systems to expand their aperture so that they can take in new possibilities of social benefit; and ushering along different combinations of public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit capital in pursuit of shared goals. What was true before this new administration will be true going forward: We will continue use social investments to help dismantle the persistent and pervasive social, racial, and economic barriers that so shamefully impede pathways to equality and justice for low-income people and people of color.

Read the full article at