For over four decades, Tides has been driving smart risk-taking in pursuit of progressive change. We’ve always been leaders in the discovery and development of innovative ways to create social impact, from fiscal sponsorship to donor advised funds. Over time, our strategies for charitable dollars have expanded beyond grantmaking and nonprofit support; today, we offer an array of investment strategies to ensure that our clients’ philanthropic assets are employed to meet their impact goals in the best possible way.
We encourage our clients to think about impact investing as part of a multi-pronged approach to philanthropic impact, starting with their core vision and working outward from there. Within a suite of options for charitable giving, impact investing can offer a way to deepen or enhance desired social change.
Some donors wish to invest in highly diversified funds that screen for impact. To facilitate this, we’ve worked for decades with investment managers who share our commitment to impact, applying environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria and/or the UN Principles for Responsible Investment to their holdings. In addition, these leading managers engage in shareholder advocacy, pushing for improvement in areas from board diversity to climate change. Donors who partner with Tides can also customize their investments with options like a fossil-fuel free portfolio, or one focused on gender equity, education, sustainable agriculture, or environmental preservation.
As another option, some donors wish to make mission-related investments (MRIs) via their donor advised funds in equity or debt offerings by for-profit companies or initiatives. For example, we have established and managed significant philanthropic investment in the award-winning environmental documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, which builds awareness about the grave threat of climate change. Overall, we’ve invested $20M in over 40 MRIs over 15 years, including crucial support for fair trade and sustainable businesses, film and video projects, and nonprofit real estate/green shared spaces development. We’ve also made direct loans to nonprofit organizations and microlending institutions, as well as direct land purchases to protect land or provide nonprofit retreat facilities.
Tides recognizes that our responsibility as stewards of charitable capital includes not only the traditional goals of maximizing return, minimizing risk, and portfolio diversification; we also seek to drive measurable social returns that benefit the environment, address issues of social and economic justice, and promote healthy communities and societies. Currently, our funds are invested in public equities, fixed income, private equity, and real estate; we maintain a hybrid approach to investing and are open to both active and passive investment management. As we work to build a world of shared prosperity and social justice, we ensure that our investments follow suit. As a pioneer in the impact investing space, Tides has carved out a place at the forefront of new approaches for creating impact with charitable capital. Over our 40-year history, we’ve developed the deep expertise and partnerships to offer due diligence, rigorous impact metrics, and the know-how to customize investment structures for specific philanthropic goals. As the field of impact investing evolves, we remain committed to evolving with it, creating promising new options and opportunities for mission-driven investors.