Applications invited for Sorenson Impact Foundation Grant

Applications invited for Sorenson Impact Foundation Grant

Organization: Sorenson Impact Foundation

Apply By: 30 Jul 2019

Grant Amount: 500000 USD

About the organization

The Sorenson Impact Foundation invests in innovative, scalable solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. As an impact investor, SIF seeks to simultaneously support social entrepreneurs while also building impact investing field overall and crowding in new investors who can use their investment dollars to “do good”. The Sorenson Impact Foundation has investments on five continents and across asset classes and sectors.

Grant size and themes

The Sorenson Impact Foundation (SIF) is inviting potential grant recipients to propose solutions that advance or augment the foundation’s work in three key focus areas. Awarded grants will vary in size and between $50,000 and $500,000 each.

  • Advancing the impact investing ecosystem by: a) developing and supporting intermediaries, b) creating tools and services that make the impact investing ecosystem more efficient, and/or c) facilitating access to data and education to help lower barriers to entry for traditional investors and inform better investment decision making
  • Identifying, measuring and promoting best practices in the area of community development and impact achievement for Qualified Opportunity Funds as established by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • Support the development and training of future impact investors and social entrepreneurs

Problems to Solve

Within its three key focus areas, below are examples of the specific problems that the foundation seeks to solve. Note that these are not the only problems that exist within their focus areas and applicants are free to propose outside of this problem set.

  • The impact investing space lacks connected, coordinated intermediaries who are incentivized to bring investors and entrepreneurs together efficiently
  • There is a lack of wrap-around investment support including due diligence, legal and post-investment support for impact investments, especially as a means of lowering barriers to entry for newer, smaller investors (common term sheets including both financial and impact terms, etc)
  • There is a lack of simple, inexpensive coaching for impact entrepreneurs / start-ups
  • There are not well-coordinated means by which to share deal flow and learnings by and among impact investors in a streamlined and efficient manner that can easily become common practice in the industry
  • There are not efficient mechanisms for established impact investors to crowd-in potential new impact investors and leverage the work they’ve done
  • There are no centralized, holistic databases of impact investing data such as benchmarks, sample portfolios, returns and/or performance ranges, market deal terms and other common datasets that the broader finance community typically uses
  • There is limited information on the full lifecycle of impact investments
  • For opportunity zones, there are not well-coordinated databases where investors can find projects to invest in, data in order to assess potential impact, and community dynamics information so that impact can be better wrapped into opportunity funds.

The solutions that exist for many of these problems within the broader financial sector are based upon business models that require mass volume and scale, resulting from a potential solution becoming the industry standard over decades and with lots of industry consolidation. They don’t have that kind of time. As such, the foundation will preference organizations that demonstrate an ability to coordinate, collaborate and leverage existing work that has been done in the field in order to accelerate uptake.

How to Apply

The RFP submission period will open on May 31, 2019 and close on July 30, 2019 at 5:00pm Eastern time. Submissions can be emailed to Info@sorensonimpactfoundation.org  and you will receive an email confirmation that your submission has been received.

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