Seattle Foundation Blog

Recoverable Grants

Seattle Foundation is offering a new tool for making impact investments through a partnership with Realize Impact.


July 15, 2020

By Stephen Robinson, Philanthropic Advisor

Realize Impact logoWith community needs growing both domestically and around the world, many philanthropists are expressing an interest in deploying more of their philanthropic resources and personal wealth toward making a difference. By taking capital out of traditional investment pools and investing it in impact—or “impact investing”—philanthropists can align more resources with their philanthropic goals.

As with other types of investments, these funds generate additional capital through the lifetime of their investment and then flow back to their source—such as a philanthropist’s Community Philanthropy Fund or Family Foundation (donor advised funds) at Seattle Foundation. Impact Investing is a great way to unlock the potential of your Fund while maintaining a longer timeline of giving, and has grown in popularity over the years.

To meet the growing demand for investable opportunities, Seattle Foundation is rolling out a new partnership with Realize Impact, an intermediary organization that funds and supports companies tackling the world’s most important social, civic, and environmental problems. This partnership enables philanthropists to make “recoverable grants,” a type of impact investment in which a nonprofit repays grants after a given period of time. In this partnership, Realize Impact is conducting all due diligence, reviewing investment terms, and ultimately making the debt, equity or revenue-based investment— which simplifies the process for impact investing, as shown in the chart below.

flow chart that simplifies the process for impact investing

So far, Seattle Foundation philanthropists have invested more than $100,000 in a variety of impact funds through Realize Impact, including AfricaEats, which targets food shortages in Africa related to COVID-19. Realize Impact’s website features a variety of different investment opportunities that may appeal to you. From March to May of this year, the organization facilitated more than $1.1 million in philanthropic investments.

For further information, contact your philanthropic advisor or Jesus Carbajal at j.carbajal@seattlefoundation.org or 206.388.1665.

Please note that these investments are subject to the same risks of any investment including the potential devaluing or default of the investment as well as a nominal administrative fee from Realize Impact.

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