Abundance Capital, a Greenville-based donor-advised fund (DAF) focusing on impact investing, raised more than $1 million in venture philanthropy funds within its first six months.
The non-profit organization is an online platform using funds centralized on impact investing, an investment practice generating financial returns while also accomplishing positive social impacts.
“It’s been exciting to see how fast our momentum has grown,” said co-founder Mike Gatchell.
What began as an idea expressed to fellow co-founder Margaret Gifford over an espresso at Methodical Coffee has now become an asset to help “charitable donors activate place-based impact investing across the South, generating inclusive prosperity and creating sustainable local economies,” Gatchell said.
Venture philanthropy, often used as an umbrella term, refers to using traditional venture capital to finance philanthropic undertakings. Abundance Capital fundholders can recommend investments using donor-advised funds or donate to a current investment with Abundance Capital. Currently, there are six different projects from which investors can choose.
Although impact investing generates financial returns, Gatchell said he believes donors partner with Abundance Capital because “they love their communities, and they want to see them thrive,” but the fact that it is “fun and entrepreneurial” does not hurt either, he added.
Abundance Capital uses the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals to help decide where to invest, with goals ranging from bettering local communities to communities across the world.
In the world of philanthropy, obtaining and creating measurable goals can sometimes be a challenge, according to Gifford, and although she thinks charities do a great job at measuring goals, “there’s no reason that things can’t be better,” she said.
“Our focus right now is to make more and more people aware that this form of philanthropy exists,” Gatchell added.