Impact Investing

Achieve a triple-bottom line with smart investments for social change.

Grants to support microlending in West Africa. The first nonprofit owned brokerage firm. A donor advised fund with assets allocated to a community investment program that supports affordable housing. A mission-related investment in an eco-friendly fair trade coffee company.

These are just a few of the ways that Tides has partnered with donors, social investors, institutions and corporations to make impact investments, where market-based activity and philanthropy converge. We are the largest providers of donor-advised funds to have a socially-screened investment portfolio.

Create a socially responsible investment portfolio. When individuals and businesses look for ways to merge their entrepreneurial efforts with core values of fairness, equality, and environmental sustainability, they turn to Tides.


  • Enjoy the benefits and absorb the risks of investment through an invested donor-advised fund
  • Unlock alternative forms of capital, beyond your traditional grant-making, to fuel social change.
  • Join a community of innovators and investors pushing the boundaries of philanthropy.


Philanthropy has traditionally just been another word for grant-making. At Tides, we are moving beyond a "one-size-fits-all" model of funding social change and are unlocking the private capital -and the expertise to manage it- to make social justice a reality. In doing so, we are redefining what it means to be a philanthropist, as well as developing new avenues for individuals and institutions to do good. At Tides, we are bringing philanthropy into the 21st century.

Currently, the Tides portfolio contains more than 30 mission-related investments totaling $9 million in the form of direct equity investments, convertible debt, and loans: 

  • Equity Investments in innovative green businesses, fair trade and sustainable business ventures; film and video projects; and non-profit real estate/green shared spaces developments. These investments have been made primarily in the United States.
  • Direct loans for support of community investing, micro lending in the form of investment notes and unsecured loans. Borrowers are primarily in the United States, although micro-financing programs may be located in developing countries worldwide.
  • Direct land purchases to protect land or to provide nonprofit retreat facilities.

If you have charitable assets that you want to distribute over a long time horizon, Tides offers the option of invested donor advised funds where you can choose between several socially responsible investment vehicles, including a socially screened fund and a small cap fund that proactively invests in innovative, socially responsible companies.

Through an invested donor advised fund, we can also help you create mission-related investments (MRIs) in the form of low- or no-interest loans or private equity investments in emerging and mission-related business ventures that have a clear social return.

Tides invested funds are managed by Walden Asset Management, a socially responsible investment group based in Boston. In fact, Tides is the largest provider of donor advised funds to have socially screened investment portfolio.

Learn more about making MRIs at Tides >

Impact Story