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Impact Investing at Tides

Impact Investing

Impact investing — also referred to as “socially responsible investing,” “sustainable investing,” or “social impact investing”— is about investing money to support social change while potentially generating financial return. Ultimately, impact investing is a way to align your investments with the positive changes you want to see in the world.

The historically separate fields of traditional investing and philanthropic giving have become increasingly intertwined, evolving  into a new investment choice — impact investing. Research shows that the demand for impact investing has grown exponentially over the last decade. Typically,  investors who choose this heartfelt approach are driven more by the emotional and moral aspects of contributing to the greater social good than by a quantifiable, monetary return.

What is Impact Investing?

Impact investing — also referred to as “socially responsible investing,” “sustainable investing,” or “social impact investing” — is about investing money to support social change while potentially generating a financial return for the investor. It’s how we help our partners innovate to shift power to proximate leaders —  within a suite of diverse investment options for supporting the causes that advance our mission. 

A group of young Black children holding hands in a circle in a classroom

Why Tides?

For nearly 50 years, Tides has fueled smart financial risk-taking in pursuit of progressive change and meaningful social impact. 


As stewards of charitable capital, we recognize that our responsibility includes the traditional finance goals of maximizing return, minimizing risk, and diversifying portfolios, while also driving social returns that support our mission to shift resources and power to communities historically denied both.


Over the years, Tides has grown into a central player in the investing-for-impact sector. Our organizational history speaks to our leadership using values-aligned donor advised funds as a tool for change. Since the 1980s — long before the term “impact investment” originated — we’ve partnered with the pioneering socially responsible investment funds of Calvert and Walden Asset Management. 

Customizable and Values-Aligned

Not every impact investing toolbox is the same. Tides works alongside our partners to create portfolios for their donor-advised funds that match their philanthropic and investment goals, whether that’s supporting a single issue or investing in a variety of social justice initiatives they admire. We pride ourselves on our ability to tailor creative solutions for our partners, bridge gaps, and inspire our network of partners to increase the amount of social change we can effect together.


Meet Our Partners

Success means something different to every one of us — there is no one size fits all when it comes to measuring impact. With our core values at the heart of every partnership, the following stories showcase how investing alongside grantmaking from donor advised funds can increase our partners’ impact.

Jennifer’s Farm-To-Table, Sustainability-Focused Donor Advised Fund

Jennifer Kline is a long-time client of Tides who developed a custom donor advised fund that specifically supports her passion for sustainable and ethical farm-to-table initiatives. Today, her fund has invested millions of dollars in organizations, including EFM, One Acre Fund, Iroquois Valley Farms, CNote, and more, which foster opportunities for farmers and protect the environment.

Grassroots organizations Tides impact investing partners have strengthened using donor advised funds:

  • Oweesta | Impact area: Native community development
  • Sunwealth | Impact area: Clean energy, energy efficiency, green jobs
  • First Children’s Finance | Impact area: Women/BIPOC communities, child care businesses
  • Foodshed | Impact area: Women/BIPOC communities, equitable food systems
  • Seed Commons | Impact area: Non-extractive loan funds supporting local/community-owned businesses


Is Impact Investing Right For You?

When you’re considering how to most effectively support the causes you care about, the options and details can be overwhelming. To understand if impact investing is right for you, consider the following questions:

  • Do you want to use your money to have an impact on the issues you are passionate about?
  • Do you find comfort knowing that your money is going to values-aligned and expertly vetted organizations and social enterprises?
  • Do you want to avoid the limitations of one traditional avenue of investing?
  • Do you prefer to rely on someone else to responsibly manage the details of your investments?

View Tides’ Investment policy.


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