A number of San Diego’s philanthropic leaders convened recently to hear from the principals of the world-renowned Cordes Foundation, who shared how they use impact investing to accelerate their foundation’s impact.
The event, which showcased the Cordes Foundation’s focus on investable opportunities for women’s economic empowerment (both in the United States and abroad), highlighted how foundations can mitigate risk to achieve more impact with their existing resources.
The Cordes family – Ron, Marty, and Steph – along with Portfolio Director Eric Stephenson, were hosted by San Diego Grantmakers to lead a discussion on ‘Demystifying Impact Investing’ and shared that by providing the possibility for financial returns in addition to positive social or environmental outcomes, impact investing has the potential to exponentially increase the number of people using their capital for good.
San Diego Grantmakers Director of Impact Investments Robert Foster was thrilled to have the Cordes family in town to share concrete examples of how they catalyzed 100% of their $46 billion investment portfolio beyond the traditional 5% private foundation payout rule and guided by a new definition of ROI – a return on impact.
Mr. Foster stated that “San Diego could be a model for the nation to think differently about how communities can work together, break down silos and achieve real social, environmental and economic results. To achieve this vision, we need to develop an impact investment ecosystem that effectively connects all stakeholders across San Diego’s diverse landscape. The Cordes Foundation is a shining example of how this vision can become a reality.
“If there is one common thread between those that were in the room it’s that all these asset owners want impact. Be it foundation staff, donors, angel investors, family office members, or anyone with a savings account, all can gain from better aligning their capital with the causes they care about.
“San Diego Grantmakers’ vision is that our region has adequate capital to solve its most pressing challenges using strong evidence-based practices and collaborative efforts. We are working hard to build a connected and robust impact investing ecosystem with a range of investment opportunities and a pipeline of innovative solutions. Our goal is to catalyze $100 million of new investment in our community by 2025,” Mr. Foster said.
Photo: (L-R) Robert Foster, Ron Cordes, Marty Cordes, San Diego Grantmakers Board Member Nelli Garton, Steph Cordes, Eric Stephenson.