From Education to Activation: Exploring the RBF’s Journey into Impact Investing

Over the last four years, the Case Foundation has been deeply committed to catalyzing the Impact Investing movement. Alongside partners, we seek to inspire, educate, and activate investors around the potential to put private capital to work to solve some of our most complex challenges. Today we are excited to see a growing and diverse set of actors engaged in Impact Investing, led in part by innovative first-movers. These include high net-worth individuals and institutions who have begun to seek financial and social returns by aligning their investment portfolio with their values.

As part of our movement building efforts, we’ve learned that sharing stories and insights from those who have transitioned to impact investing can be valuable to those who aren’t as far down the path.  In 2016, we were fortunate to partner with Omidyar Network and The Giving Pledge to take a closer look at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s journey into impact investing, in hopes that it can serve as inspiration and guidance for others.

As part of that work, Case Foundation’s CEO Jean Case led a webinar with Justin Rockefeller, Trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) and Co-Founder of The ImPact and Jameela Pedicini, Director of Perella Weinberg Partners (PWP). Through this conversation, Jean explored the decisions made at RBF to ensure the portfolio was set on a clear path toward market returns, while choosing investments that more closely aligned with their values.

As organizations rethink how to blend profit and purpose, we encourage you to watch the webinar to learn from RBF’s journey. Here, are a few key themes that came to light:

 1. Define your impact

As Jean mentions at the start of the conversation, “impact investing means different things to different people.” At the Case Foundation, we believe that a broader interpretation allows more people to gather around the impact investing table. But that does not relax our expectations around what it means to generate both social or financial returns.

Instead, our definition of impact investing focuses on three necessary conditions to help narrow in on just what each of us means by “impact”:

  • Intentionality – are objectives clearly articulated across social and financial goals?
  • Measurement – will the organization track performance across both objectives?
  • Transparency – does the organization share – or intend to share – insights into their process and performance (as much as is able) to help create more examples around what works and what doesn’t?

2. Know what you own; then develop an investment process that leverages your strengths

The RBF’s programmatic approach spans several sectors, including democratic governance, sustainable development and peacebuilding. The grantmaking arm of the RBF has developed a thoughtful approach to promoting sustainable development, particularly around the environment and climate. When the time came to evaluate how the entire investment portfolio – and ultimately the endowment – could reflect the principles and values of the RBF, they looked to their strengths.

“25% of our program dollars go to fighting climate change,” Justin says, “we thought this was so fundamental to the work we do, that we should start there.”

By leveraging a diverse set of tactics, including divestment, an ESG lens (integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance factors), active ownership, and investing with Impact managers, RBF and PWP set out on the task together. With these tools in mind, they looked to activate RBF’s vision on what a thoughtful climate-focused strategy might look like.

We’ve seen time and again Foundation’s struggle between focusing on grantmaking vs. using their investment levers, but as Justin points out, “every foundation has different tools on its tool belt – the endowment is just one of those tools.”

3. Commit to a measurement framework

Once the mission was clear and the rigor made explicit, activating the strategy was next. The RBF and PWP started by shifting the Investment Policy Statement (IPS), transforming the objective of the portfolio from “maximizing returns” to “continue in perpetuity with generational neutrality.”

Formalizing this mission– and bringing stakeholders like the Board, senior leadership, and the Investment Committee along in the process – is a critical step to ensure that impact is sustainably interwoven into the way investments are identified and selected.

Jameela Pedicini also suggests that practices around consistent measurement can lead to broader behavior change. “Regular impact reporting,” for example, “will help us assess long term tends.”

By drawing on the journeys of organizations like the RBF, we will develop a stronger narrative around what impact investing can look like across actors. We hope that sharing these insights will provide high net-worth individuals and families, foundations, corporations, and others concrete examples to follow. We will continue to look for opportunities to showcase case studies and lessons from various organization, as part of our broader efforts to take impact investing to the next level.

We invite you to watch the full conversation here. You can also learn more about the RBF’s journey through The ImPact’s recently launched case study; “Rockefeller Brothers Fund: Impact Investing Case.”






Remembering Daniel H. Case, 1925 – 2016

Dan H. Case
Photo Credit: C.W. Monaghan-Honolulu

Daniel H. Case, a widely admired civic leader in Hawaii and the former senior partner of the Case, Lombardi & Pettit law firm, died peacefully at his home in Honolulu, HI, on July 1, surrounded by family. He was 91.

Dan was born in Lihue on February 25, 1925, and spent his early years on the Grove Farm sugar plantation on Kauai. At the age of 12, he sailed from Lihue’s Nawiliwili Harbor to Honolulu to attend boarding school at Punahou School. As a senior, he witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor as Japanese planes flew low over the campus toward their targets. He graduated from Punahou in 1942, and then went east to attend Williams College in Massachusetts. While there, Dan was named co-captain of the swim team, and went on to break numerous records, leading Williams to the championship in New England. Dan later applied his swimming skills as a young naval officer in World War II, serving in the elite underwater demolition team that later became the Navy SEALs.

After the war, Dan moved to Colorado for several years, earning his law degree from the University of Denver before returning to his home state of Hawaii to practice law. He joined the law firm that became Case, Lombardi & Pettit, where he practiced law for 60 years, leading the firm for nearly two decades, before retiring in 2012. Dan was consistently selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Hawaii, and was widely respected for his intellect, humility and sense of fairness and decency. 

Throughout his career, Dan served as a board member to many leading businesses in Hawaii, including the Honolulu Publishing Company and Maui Land & Pineapple, but it was his work at Grove Farm that served as the capstone of his business and community interests. Dan became Chairman in 2000 and served in that role for 15 years, spearheading its transition from a 38,000 acre sugar plantation to a sustainable community and economic development firm with a keen focus and commitment to the Kauai community he had always loved.

Dan was known throughout Hawaii as a dedicated civic leader, having served on numerous nonprofit boards throughout the years. His service on the Punahou School Board of Trustees spanned 30 years, including 10 as Chairman of the Board. Dan chaired Punahou’s 150th Anniversary in 1991. He was given the “O” in Life award, the highest honor given by Punahou for his “outstanding continuing service to Punahou and the Hawaii community.” The Case Middle School was named in his and his wife Carol’s honor. In 2012, Dan was honored by the National Association of Independent Schools with the Seymour Preston Award, given each year to the school trustee throughout the country who provides exceptional leadership. Punahou President Jim Scott said at the time:

Dan has been an inspiration to his colleagues and friends for generations. We are pleased and honored that he is being recognized as an exemplary and inspiring volunteer leader.

Dan served as President of the Rotary Club of Honolulu, and the Hawaii State Bar Association. He was instrumental in the development of the Hawaii Executive Conference, established to provide executives from across Hawaii and the Pacific with a forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Despite Dan’s many legal, civic and business accomplishments, his primary focus and abiding passion was his family. The love of his life was his wife Carol, was born in Hilo. Dan and Carol met after both had completed their schooling and returned home to Hawaii. They were married for 61 years, setting an example of love and loyalty for their admiring family and friends.

Dan was a beloved and devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather, community leader, counselor, colleague and friend. He was predeceased by his oldest son Dan, who died of brain cancer in 2002. He is survived by his devoted wife Carol, of Honolulu; his daughter Carin and her husband, Matt, of Healdsburg, CA; his son Steve and his wife Jean, of Washington D.C.; his son Jeff and his wife Kimberly, of Honolulu; his daughter-in-law Stacey, the widow of Dan, of San Francisco, CA; his brother Jim, of Honolulu, and by 12 grandchildren.

A celebration of Dan Case’s life will be held at 4:00 pm on Saturday, September 3, at Punahou School’s Thurston Memorial Chapel, and will be followed by a reception at the President’s Pavilion. 

In lieu of flowers, donations honoring Dan’s legacy may be made to Punahou School or Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure.

The Roger Enrico I Knew: Extraordinary Leader, Intrepid Explorer, Mentor and Friend

It is not often that you come across someone who is so genuine of spirit that they leave a deep and lasting impression on how you see the world. Roger Enrico was one of those rare individuals. Upon hearing of his passing this week, amid the outpouring of sadness and tributes, I couldn’t help but be moved to share how much of an influence Roger was in my life and in the lives of countless others.

Roger was perhaps best known for his long tenure as CEO of PepsiCo Inc. and his visionary leadership as Chairman of DreamWorks Animation SKG. But ask anyone who worked closely with him or for him and they would also describe a man who championed others—often through providing opportunities to women, people of color and those with limited means. To many who worked for him, he was a lifetime mentor and friend. In so many ways Roger demonstrated just how deeply he cared for humanity.

In his later years as CEO at Pepsi, he gave up his salary and took just $1 a year so that he could dedicate the remainder of his generous salary to creating scholarships for the kids of employees of Pepsi who earned less than $60K a year—people he described as “unsung heroes.”

Roger, an advocate for inclusivity, was known for focusing on diversity in the Pepsi bottling divisions. There he helped many people of color find opportunity and wealth through this commitment. In his board service, he put an emphasis on attracting diverse, world-class talent.

It was Roger’s work with former Chair and CEO of National Geographic, John Fahey, that led to my own board service with National Geographic, where I serve as Chairman today. Several years ago, while Roger was serving as the Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, he reached out and asked me to join the board.

Through the years, I grew to truly love and appreciate Roger for his remarkable contributions to National Geographic. I had the great honor of first succeeding him as Chair of Nominating and Governance, and then the privilege of co-chairing the Search Committee with him that brought Gary Knell in as the new CEO when John Fahey retired from the role.

Being in the boardroom with Roger was fun, interesting and always a learning experience, but it was my experiences out in the field with him that I will hold most dear in my heart. In 2014, before Cuba opened up, National Geographic Explorer in Residence Enric Sala led a small cohort of National Geographic Trustees on a one-week exploration of the pristine seas area known as Jardines de la Reina off the coast of Cuba. It was an intense week of diving in which we accompanied Enric and the team for 3 dives a day to document and explore the health of aquatic life in this rarely-accessed reef area of our oceans. For our small cohort of Trustees, we lived together on the boat with the broader dive team, sharing meals, sharing stories and reflecting on the importance of conservation of our oceans. With each successive dive, 70-year-old Roger was often the first one suited up and ready to go.

Roger had a passion for our planet, and particularly for our oceans. At National Geographic he was beloved not just for his board service, but for his passion for the mission of National Geographic. He was truly an intrepid explorer and I had the privilege of being in the field, and in the oceans, on the front lines of exploration with him around the world.

So while the world knows Roger best for his executive role under fluorescent lights, to those of us who had the privilege of working with him at National Geographic, we would say his leadership, his generosity and his passion for exploration in the field leaves behind a legacy that will endure for many years to come.

It was an honor and privilege to call him a mentor, leader, friend, and he will be greatly missed.

Authenticity, Relevance and the Power of Business as a Force for Good: Inspiration for the 37,000 Changemakers at MCON 2015

For the fourth consecutive year the Case Foundation proudly supported the Millennial Impact Conference, MCON2015, hosted by Achieve at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The dynamic two-day conference, which coincided with the release of the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, featured thought leaders from companies like Upworthy, American Express, the Huffington Post, the Levi Strauss Foundation, Square, sweetgreen, Baltimore Corps, the Knight Foundation, National Geographic, Opportunity International and more. The theme for this year’s convening was “The Power of Influence” with breakout tracks exploring art, business, media and place – and their collective impact on the ways in which the Millennial generation is engaging with the world and creating change. We were also joined by Reena Ninan, of ABC News, Cody Switzer from the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Tom Davidson from PBS, as they moderated and guided the discussion throughout both days.

In Good Design: Trends Fade, Truth Remains

There were countless moments at MCON 2015 that emphasized this theme and several that stood out to our team. These included a conversation on art and design with Amy IMG_9587and Jennifer Hood from Hoodzpah Design Company and Steve Alfaro from Voto Latino. The panel identified the importance of recognizing your true mission and cutting the extra noise created by attempts at trendiness to create honest communication about a given organization. Genuine branding and imagery can be a powerful tool to help spread messages to all audiences, not just Millennials. But authenticity is key – Millennials can sniff out insincere messaging and forced trends. Hoodzpah explained that for companies to take advantage of Millennials’ inherent interest to shop for social good, they have to authentically connect their products, services or operations to a socially beneficial outcome. Otherwise this generation will fail to be impressed.

Alfaro agreed that the same degree of authenticity is a requirement for nonprofits. Design must resonate with audiences as timely, easily shareable and communicable, and the message has to be authentic.

Investing with Profit and Purpose in Mind, it’s Good Business

 Impact investing played a central role in many of the conversations at MCON, and for very good reason. Over the next four decades, the baby boomer generation will transfer $30 to $41 trillion in assets to the Millennial generation. At the same time we are witnessing the next generation’s drive to create social change now, rather than waiting until the end of their careers, and this includes starting or investing in socially conscious companies.

As Stephanie Cordes, the vice chair at the Cordes Foundation (and a Millennial) shared, 91% of consumers say they would switch products to purchase in support of a cause and millennials make up an ever-increasing proportion of these consumers. Moreover, according to Spectrem Group, 75% of Millennials now consider the social and environmental impact of the companies they invest in to be an important part of investment decision-making. Companies that closely integrate social good into their business model were featured widely at MCON, including the Fashion Project, which enables fashionistas to sell their gently used clothing and accessories online while donating a portion of proceeds back to a charity of their choice, and Miir, which gives back to charitable causes for every product it sells (ranging from bikes to backpacks to water bottles.)

Attendees also heard about the full range of impact investing opportunities from Dr. Rishi Moudgil from the University of Michigan, attended a co-fireside chat with Ellen-Blair Chube of Ariel Investments and Karen Martell of Square, and Nicholas Tedesco from J.P. Morgan discussed philanthropic engagement with millennial investors.

The notion that Millennials value the social commitments of the companies they invest in and purchase from resonated through many of these talks. The market is responding to the millennial generation’s expectation that doing good requires cross sector collaboration and greater fluidity between different market types.

Lessons from more than a Century of Doing Good

mcon photoFinally, two household names shared their insights on how their brands remain strong cultural symbols that transcend generations. Daniel Lee of the Levi Strauss Foundation (which was recently profiled by the Case Foundation in our Be Fearless Action Guide) gave a moving talk about the impact of the Levi Strauss brand since its founding in 1873. Throughout its 142 year history, the foundation has spearheaded moments of progress for civil rights throughout history. As a foundation and a corporation, Levi Strauss is not afraid to show its support for the movements that align with its values and to take necessary steps to be considered a continuously relevant brand.

The audience was noticeably excited to hear from Gary Knell, CEO of National Geographic (Nat Geo). The media company has been a cultural phenomenon and educational resource for millions of people across the globe (it is printed in 41 languages) for more than 125 years. A whopping 23 million people follow Nat Geo’s Instagram account, which serves as a powerful storytelling platform and place to share mesmerizing imagery, and as a result is regarded by Knell as one of the organization’s strongest communications tools. With its size, global reach and history, Nat Geo continues to set the bar for true, authentic storytelling. By articulating its clear values of conservation, education and inspiration and coupling them with powerful stories, told through video and photography, they show us all how an organization can build strong relationships with its audiences across generational lines. By successfully traversing many different media platforms (Nat Geo also has a noticeable presence on Snapchat, for example), while staying true to their brand, Nat Geo remains a relevant and beloved brand for audiences that range from the eldest Baby Boomers to Millennials (and younger!).

The Conference concluded with a live performance from the lead singer of O.A.R, Marc Roberge. Marc is equally known for both his musical talent and for his commitment to social good causes. He shared how his band has given back to the communities they tour across the globe, including donating a $1 from every ticket sold in some cities to local charities like the Habitat for Humanity. Check out the band on Spotify HERE.

MCON2015 was a wonderful opportunity to hear what is going right with current inter-generational relationships and highlighted the potential for millennials to truly become, as Jean Case, the Foundation’s CEO says, “the next greatest generation.” The conference gave concrete details about Millennials’ interests in blurring the lines between personal and professional lives through philanthropy and their desire to chart individual courses to civic engagement based on personal talent and passion. The Case Foundation is proud to continue our support of MCON and the Millennial Impact Report as a tool to foster understanding and engagement as millennials grow into leadership positions and begin making decisions that will further shape the futures of our nonprofit, government and corporate sectors.

Through the two days of presentations, panel discussions and Learning Labs a few themes emerged about effectively engaging Millennial audiences – the importance of authenticity in your brand and message; the power of business to be a source for good; and the significance of maintaining relevancy through generational, cultural and civil rights changes. We look forward to sharing many of the featured speakers and their videos with you over the course of the next few weeks. Be sure to follow @CaseFoundation via Twitter for a glimpse into MCON!

Building Momentum at TEDWomen

What do two former presidents, an expert on insect mating behavior, an 18-year old activist fighting to end child marriage, a “bad feminist” and two legendary actresses have in common? Well, they were just a few of the dozens of speakers and performers who graced the stage of the Steinbeck Forum in the Monterey Convention Center during last week’s TEDWomen conference, an event focused on the power of women and girls as creators and changemakers.

The (foggy and cool) Monterey setting was one that is close to the heart of long-time TED-sters. It is where the original TED conference got its start in 1984 (before moving to Long Beach, then ultimately Vancouver), and the locale only added to the energy and emotion that is a hallmark of TED events.

The diverse slate of speakers showcased both the incredible potential of women and girls to change the world, and challenged the audience to think about the critical issues of our time. From climate change to education and religious extremism, there were a few key themes that resonated throughout the conference for me:

If we’re ever going to have true gender equality, we can’t accomplish it alone. We need men to be a part of this movement too. It might seem as obvious to you as you read this as it did when I typed the words, but as it came up over and over again I thought about how the movement to make the world better for women and girls is dominated by campaigns that largely involve women and girls. I was struck by the words of sociologist Michael Kimmel who said, “Privilege is invisible to those who have it.” We need more campaigns that make gender visible and demonstrate that (in Kimmel’s words) “gender equality is not a zero sum game.” Like the United Nation’s @HeForShe campaign highlighted by the formidable Elizabeth Nyamayaro. And of course we were lucky to see one of the world’s most influential men, President Jimmy Carter, on stage talking about his fight for gender equality, noting that “The number one abuse of human rights on Earth is the mistreatment of women and girls.”

And this lesson of making privilege visible doesn’t just apply to gender equality. The fearless and funny Rich Benjamin walked us through his adventures as an African American living in “Whitopia,” the communities in America attracting the highest concentration of white populations in an era where we are, according to Benjamin, as racially segregated by neighborhood as we were in 1970. I can only imagine (and hope) that he helped some of his neighbors learn a little bit about privilege in the process.

What drives performance? It’s not what you think. In one of the most moving talks of the event, Linda Cliatt-Wayman, a high school principal who has turned around some of Philadelphia’s most dangerous schools, shared the three core tenants of her leadership philosophy. The first two, “If you’re going to lead, LEAD” and “Now what? So what?” were powerful on their own, but the third was the most powerful. Every day, Cliatt-Wayman makes sure to tell her students, “If nobody told you they love you today, remember I do.” Sure, that might seem corny or hokey to some – but in an environment like North Philadelphia’s public schools, many of the school’s students experience difficult home settings that often lack the compassion.

So as we think about the power of women and girls, we can’t forget one of the key skills we bring to the table to solve big problems – compassion. Margaret Heffernan, a management expert and a TED talk veteran, underscored this idea in her talk, which was centered around an MIT study that showcased that the most productive teams were those in which team members all had a sense of social connectedness. Essentially, these groups performed well because they cared about each other. Or, as she put it, “a culture of helpfulness routinely outperforms intelligence.” Food for thought as we build and manage teams.

Authenticity trumps all. Over and over again, TEDWomen speakers embodied the idea that we are our best selves when we truly embrace who we are. Roxanne Gay pushed us to stop demanding perfection from feminists – noting that we are all full of contradictions and flaws. In her case, her love of hardcore rap and the color pink might make her a “bad feminist” – but, like Roxanne, we can still be good women. Another woman who was truly herself was the hilarious Alix Generous, a young woman with Asperger’s. Between perfectly delivered self-deprecating jokes, Alix inspired us with her work to develop “autism assistive technology,” enabling individuals with autism spectrum disorder develop communications skills.

But of course being one’s true self takes a lot of courage. It certainly took South African slam poet, Lee Mokobe, courage to share with the world that she self-identified as male, coming from a culture that doesn’t exactly embrace gender identity issues. Or the formidable (and just 18 years old) Malawian Memory Banda who said no to being married off at age 14 in a culture that routinely marries off young women as early as age 11.

Amongst all of the high notes, there was also a live reminder of the world of contradictions we face as women. A young mother with her five-month infant in tow was asked to leave the conference, citing TED’s strict “no children” policy. Sharing her story on Twitter, she posed the question about how a conference on the power of women and girls could simultaneously not be for working moms. A big kudos to the TEDWomen team for “failing forward” and responding honestly and transparently to the issue.

The theme of this year’s TEDWomen conference was “Momentum” – and whether it was having the opportunity to interact with the incredible women in attendance, marvel at the incredible talent of the musicians, singers and poets who performed, or laugh, cry and cheer with the speakers on stage, it is clear that when it comes to the power of women and girls to change the world, we really do have momentum.

Demand for Investments That Provide Both a Financial and Social Return is Increasing

There is a large number of “traditional” investors whose priority is strictly earning the greatest financial return, regardless of any return in the form of positive social impact. This week the Case Foundation and, in partnership with ImpactAlpha are spotlighting MicroVest, an asset management firm that has been proving for more than a decade that investments in underserved markets are more than just charity. These impact investments can and do earn consistent and competitive financial returns, in addition to enabling local entrepreneurs to create scalable solutions that drive even greater positive outcomes.

MicroVest was founded in Bethesda, MD, in 2003, with CEO Gil Crawford’s belief that “investing in unbanked markets is the best way to reduce poverty on a global scale.” The firm does this by providing capital to low-income financial institutions that in turn make loans to micro to medium-sized businesses.

During MicroVest’s early days, micro-loans were not new, however they were not widely known or understood. This disconnect led to some early stage struggles in gathering investments for MicroVest’s first fund. Chairman Bowman Cutter explained to the Wall Street Journal that the first $15 million was more difficult to gather over three years than $15 billion for a private equity firm. However, MicroVest’s stable record for returns has helped to eliminate much of the investor trepidation and it has successfully grown the fund’s investor pool and diversified its portfolio of companies over the years.

According to Impact Investing2.0, two such examples of the diverse investments available through MicroVest are XacBank (“Hass-Bank”) in Mongolia that serves 26,000 borrowers through 34 urban and rural banks, capitalizing on the innovative microfinance structures already present in the country. Additionally, MicroVest became an important investor in a low-income finance institute in Guayaquil, Ecuador where they were able to incentivize more responsible lending practices through local banks. Through most of MicroVest’s local lenders, the majority of borrowers are women, empowering a traditionally marginalized portion of these communities.

Given the financial and social progress of micro-investments and other impact investments, many are turning toward impact investments to secure both financial and social returns. Ron Cordes, who leads the Cordes Foundation, one of Microvest’s owners, notes that MicroVest and similar firms and funds are successful because of, not despite their, social impact. To find out how MicroVest intends to continue to engage with and attract more of investors through competitive returns, check out the rest of the story on

2015 Conferences On Our Radar

This post was written by Jade Floyd and Anna Windsor on behalf of the Case Foundation:

Networking with people we admire, making new connections, and learning from organizations that inspire us: those are just a few reasons we love attending conferences and convenings in the social sector and beyond that help us advance our efforts to revolutionize philanthropy, unleash entrepreneurship and ignite civic engagement. While we wish we could find a way to easily clone ourselves and make it to all of the incredible gatherings there are to choose from, here are the few we’ll be attending (and in some cases hosting panels, dinners and other discussions) in 2015:

Opportunity Nation Summit, February 25 – 26, Washington, D.C.

The National Opportunity Summit unites a bipartisan, cross-sector group of business leaders, nonprofits, elected officials and young people working together to address the crisis of youth unemployment and its impact on opportunity in America. Join the Case Foundation for a panel on the “Power of Entrepreneurship on Youth Unemployment.” More details HERE.

Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTEN), March 4 – 6, Austin, TX

The Nonprofit Technology Conference highlights the latest technologies and best strategies to address pressing issues in the nonprofit sectors. Be sure to check out our own Elyse Greenberg on March 6th as she joins a panel of social media professionals for a lively conversation around engagement. They will explore how better engagement can lead to stronger programs, higher returns and greater impact for you and your initiatives. More details HERE.

SXSW Interactive, March 13 – 17, Austin, TX

The SXSW Interactive Festival is an incubator for cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity that tens of thousands flock to each year in Austin. Be sure to pop over to the many events hosted by the Case Foundation, including:

  • Our CEO, Jean Case will lead a lively “Impact Investing Rumble,” where champions of impact investing will take on the nay sayers in a tag-team style debate to fight it out over whether or not one can really invest and receive financial returns. More details HERE.
  • A Be Fearless Breakout Session where you can explore how you and your organization can integrate strategies and tactics to create greater impact and more meaningful social change. More details HERE.
  • A session on How Potato Salad Killed/Saved Crowdfunding moderated by our own Allyson Burns with Gary Wohlfeill from Crowdrise; Ryan Grepper who created the Coolest Cooler which was one of the most popular campaigns on Kickstarter; and Zack Brown, the “potato salad guy” from from Kickstarter. Together they will explore the future of crowdfunding for nonprofits, for-profits and individuals and what this shift in crowdfunding means for the future of the sector. More details HERE.
  • Join us in the convention center for a featured presentation on the future of entrepreneurship by our Chairman, Steve Case, including a fireside chat Catherine Rampell from the Washington Post. More details HERE.
  • Later, Steve will join fellow judges Troy Carter and Sallie Krawcheck for the Rise of the Rest pitch competition. Join us as they showcase emerging startup ecosystems across the U.S. Five companies will have five minutes to pitch and the winning startup will receive a $100,000 investment. More details HERE.
  • Pop over to the “Startup Oasis” produced by UP Global and the Kauffman Foundation from March 14-16th. Steve will join other entrepreneurs and startups at sessions and happy hours focused on women, fintech and education. Sign up HERE.

Skoll World Forum, April 15-17, Oxford, England

Every year in Oxford more than 1,000 thought leaders from the social, financial, private and public sectors convene to innovate, accelerate and scale solutions to the world’s greatest social issues. More details HERE. Council on Foundations Annual Meeting, April 26 – 28, San Francisco, CA The Council on Foundations’ Annual Meeting brings together global leaders from across philanthropy to develop the ideas and strategies that will shape the future. More details HERE.

Milken Institute Global Conference, April 26 – 29, Los Angeles, CA

The four-day conference in Los Angeles unites attendees as they devise solutions to today’s most pressing challenges. Stay tuned for more on events hosted by the Case Foundation to be announced in the coming weeks. More details HERE. Do Good Data, April 30 – May 1, Chicago, IL Do Good Data features innovative leaders who weigh in on how data is creating a more effective and efficient sector. More details HERE.

Forward Cities, date TBD

Forward Cities is a multi-city, national learning collaborative between New Orleans, Detroit, Cleveland and Durham. Over the next two years, leaders and local innovators from each of these cities are convening to connect with one another as they work to increase entrepreneurial activity and connectivity in disconnected communities. The Case Foundation is looking forward to supporting several of their upcoming meetings in Detroit and Cleveland this year so stay tuned for more!

EPIP National Conference, May 12 – 14, New Orleans, LA

The Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy National Conference aims to develop leaders who are better equipped to advance social change. The theme for this year’s conference is “Emerging Voices, Empowering Communities” and will unite attendees as they address social disparities and discuss best practices to advance social change. More details HERE.

The Millennial Impact – MCON 2015, June 24-25, Chicago, IL

Each year the Case Foundation hosts MCON, a two-day experience for corporate, nonprofit and public leaders who create and build movements for causes by engaging the Millennial generation. MCON will be an especially enriching experience for cause marketers, and cause enthusiasts and cause leaders seeking to change the culture of their organizations. More details HERE.

Mashable Social Good Summit, September 27 th- 28th, New York, NY

The Mashable Social Good Summit is a conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiates around the world. The summit is held during UN Week in New York City and unites a community of global leaders and grassroots activists. This year’s theme will be #2030NOW, asking the question, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?” More details HERE.

SOCAP, October 6 – 9, San Francisco, CA

SOCAP 15 (Social Capital Markets) will unite innovators in business, tech, the sharing economy, health and philanthropy to advance environmental and social causes through impact investing and social enterprise. More details HERE.

Independent Sector, October 27 – 29, Miami, FL

The Independent Sector Conference uses innovative formats to share the expertise of staff and board members from nonprofits, foundations and corporate philanthropy programs. The conference also features special programs including like NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now, as well as the Public Policy Action Institute. More details HERE.

2015 BoardSource Leadership Forum, November 9 – 10, New Orleans, LA

The BoardSource Leadership Forum is one of the largest annual gatherings of nonprofit board leaders. At this convening, attendees will discuss the latest trends and best practices in nonprofit governance to help guide their organizations toward greater impact. More details HERE.

We hope to see you at one or more of these gatherings, and look forward to sharing more about our learnings. We’ll check in later this year with an update on new gatherings that we’ve added to our calendar.

Have a conference not listed here that should be on our radar? Tweet us @CaseFoundation to share with #CFBlog.

11 Ways to Honor America’s Veterans on 11/11

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

Veterans Day is our Nation’s opportunity to acknowledge the Veterans of the United States Armed Forces for their fearlessness, courage and leadership. While it is important to express our gratitude for their heroism and willingness to sacrifice for a cause greater than themselves at all times, November 11th gives us a special chance to honor our Nation’s Veterans and to thank them for their service.

We hope that you are able to join us in showing appreciation for the brave women and men who have served in our country’s armed forces. By giving thanks, listening to a veteran’s story or sharing facts about the unique challenges they face post-service, you can show your support. In addition to participating in a moment of silence with your peers at school, work or home, we invite you to download our info-graphic and explore 11 ways you can get involved on Veterans Day.

Download the infographic to explore how you can honor our veterans!

Case Veterans Day Infographic 2014

Statement from Jean and Steve Case on Ron Klain

“Ron Klain has been asked by the President to coordinate the U.S. ebola response, so he will be taking a leave of absence.  We applaud the President’s selection, as Ron is a talented manager and a wise counselor who understands government, business, and the non-profit sectors.  We wish him the best as he takes on the important task, and we look forward to welcoming him back soon.”

Welcome Sheila Herrling: Our New Senior Vice President of Social Innovation

There’s a lot that I’m proud of from the Case Foundation’s seventeen years of work: helping to generate billions in new funding for hundreds of nonprofits to elevate their programs; developing public-private partnerships that have brought significant attention to and traction/scale to issues ranging from national service to growing entrepreneurship and job creation at home and abroad; and putting citizens at the center of innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. But more than anything, I’m proud of the team we have that leads us through these challenges and inspires us to have impact in all that we do.

Through the years, we’ve chosen to maintain a lean organization comprised of some of the best and the brightest in the field. Together we bring passion, an entrepreneurial spirit and fun to all we do and we genuinely enjoy the privilege of working together to change the world. When our Senior Vice President of Social Innovation, Michael Smith, left last year to head the Social Innovation Fund for the White House, we began a search for a very special talent to fill this important role at the Case Foundation. After many months, hours and rounds of interviewing, we have tapped an outstanding executive to join us — today we are announcing that on September 22, Sheila Herrling will join our team as our new Senior Vice President of Social Innovation.

Sheila comes to us with more than twenty years of experience in international development and U.S. foreign policy. She joins us from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) – an independent U.S. foreign aid agency that uses an evidence-based approach to invest in economic growth and poverty reduction in well-governed poor countries—where she served as the Vice President for Policy and Evaluation for the last four and a half years.

Throughout Sheila’s career—including at the Center for Global Development, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, as a U.S. representative to the African Development Bank, and as part of President Obama’s Transition Team—she has consistently found ways to build coalitions for action to put fresh thinking into practice. She has the ideal combination of smarts on substance and savvy on strategy to come up with and move big ideas. I couldn’t be more excited that she will bring her talents to our work at the Foundation. And she’s no stranger to taking big bets. At MCC she staked her career on insisting that the $3 billion in investments made on her watch yield a rate of return in terms of increased income for the poor, on raising the bar on how the impact of those investments were measured, and on putting the agency’s results data into the public domain in order to maximize global learning on what was — and, perhaps more importantly — what was not working in the field.

When I asked Sheila what she was most proud of at MCC, she said, “I’m so glad that our team at MCC pushed the envelope on learning from evidence-based evaluations and on being named the most transparent donor organization in the world. And I was most excited when U.S. taxpayer dollars leveraged real impact – like the doubling of incomes of dairy farmers in El Salvador or the $4 billion in private investment in Ghana, or inspired governments like Cote d’Ivoire to change laws to give women the same rights as men to participate fully in the economy. But, like you, I am most proud of the amazingly smart, mission-driven, fun team I had the honor of leading. And I can’t wait to work with and learn from the equally amazing team at Case Foundation.”

So if it isn’t obvious, today’s announcement is a celebration for our team here at the Case Foundation. As Senior Vice President she will lead the Foundation’s Social Innovation team, which works collaboratively to develop and implement mission-driven domestic and international initiatives, partnerships and a robust portfolio of social and impact investments. Specifically, she’ll focus on continuing and growing the great momentum our team has already established around moving the impact investing field from niche to mainstream; look for new opportunities to bring the Be Fearless principles from inspiration to action in the philanthropic sector; re-energize our efforts in supporting entrepreneurs who create jobs and healthy communities at home and abroad; and explore new opportunities and issue areas in need of urgent, innovative solutions.

Our team is excited about the future and the potential, working closely with partners here at home and around the world, to enact fearless change in communities both near and far. We warmly welcome Sheila to the Case Foundation and we have no doubt she will be a driving force on this journey. Please join us in welcoming her to the team.