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Thinking On

  • We are a philanthropic institution focused on improving economic opportunity and integration of poor people in the U.S. economy.
  • We are a mission investor that also makes grants to nonprofits.
  • We care about both financial and social performance of our investments.
  • We are enterprise-focused but our investment strategy uses a diverse set of financial tools and embraces a diverse set of sectors to improve U.S. employment.

Learn more about us, our mission and our strategy.

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About Heron

Thinking On: The Owner-Labor Tug of War
Profits and wages are often treated as a zero-sum game, but wages play a more complex role in a company’s value creation for all stakeholders, including owners.

Thinking On

In Case You Missed It: The Inequality Longevity Gap
In this issue, the inequality of social security, poking holes in the safety net, more on the minimum wage, and gutting shareholder resolutions.

In Case You Missed It

Soundbites: Moving Toward a Net Contribution Framework
In this podcast, Mission OutLoud's Toni Johnson and Heron's Dana Bezerra discuss why assessing the multiple impacts companies matters for impat measurement.

Soundbites

A series of videos recasts the narrative around what it is to be poor in the United States; focuses on ways to reinvent the economy to provide paths to prosperity.

In chapter one, we have the Murphy family who tell their complicated story of the tenuous nature of economic mobility in the United States. Watch the Murphy Family Story on Vimeo.

In chapter two, essayist and activist Linda Tirado discusses how frustrating it is to work hard and stay poor in America. Watch When the Poor are Not at the Table on Vimeo.

In chapter three, MIT business professor, Zeynep Ton, explains the value of investing in employees and how good jobs can be profitable for employers. Watch Good Employers Make Money on Vimeo.

In Chapter four, Nancy Pfund, Founder and Managing Partner, DBL Partners discusses the role that investment firms can play to bring the benefits of the economy to neighborhoods that have historically not had them.

Stay tuned for more videos and learn more about how you can help #economicreinvention by working with our partners.

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Influencer Series

Our strategy focuses on using all of our capital and all the financial tools available to us to invest in enterprises, which is where we believe the most measureable impacts happen. Read more here about our approach.

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About Heron

This interactive presentation outlines the four basic principles that inform how Heron deploys capital.

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About Heron

Conversations with Heron's Partners

In the latest installments of Heron's Soundbites podcast series, members of the Heron team speak with organizations that recieved Enterprise Capital Grants to discuss their work and see how Heron's investment helped them thrive.

Adventures in Affordable Housing Finance: Toni Johnson sat down with the Housing Partnership Network's Tom Bledsoe to discuss HPN's work in places like New Orleans and the use of enterprise capital. 

A New Way to Measure Success: Jennifer Tescher of CFSI discusses how the financial industry is learning to evaluate its own success by measuring its impacts on consumers' financial health.

Investing in Your Own Backyard: Toni Johnson in discussion with Jennifer Pryce of the Calvert Foundation, on building communities and growing small businesses.

The Metrics that Matter in Housing Development: Maggie Grieve of Success Measures discusses a collaborative approach to building powerful metrics and serving more than 600 community-based organizations. 

Mapping Data to OutcomesMaggie McCullough of PolicyMap discusses how organizations and individuals can use data to understand their impact on a community level.

 

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Podcast

Katrina: A Decade Later

Rebuilding the Gulf Coast: Tom Bledsoe of Housing Partnership Network talks about what it took to rebuild thousands of homes through the nation's first nonprofit real estate investment trust.

Climate's Impact on America's PoorThe urgent need to make poor communities in the United States more climate change resilient.

Lessons from South AfricaAmbassador James A. Joseph outlines the post-Katrina reconciliation still required in New Orleans and rest of Louisiana.

Some People Got Lost in the Flood: Commentary about Hurricane Katrina, inequality and disaster vulnerability in the decade that followed.

Photo of the month: A sobering look at New Orleans' still devastated Lower Ninth Ward and it's slowly progressing recovery.

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Pulse Post

In a very real sense, all foundations are already doing "impact investing." They just don't know if their impact is positive or negative.--Clara Miller
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Quotable

Soundbites on Impact Investing

Investing in the Real Economy: Gil Crawford talks about MicroVest, sustainable banking and the real economy.  
The Responsibility of Wealth: Joel Solomon of Renewal Funds discusses his organization's mission, focus on organic food, green technologies and future plans. 
An Atypical Investing Strategy: Ross Baird offers insights into capital inequality and how Village Capital seeks investment opportunities beyond the usual suspects. 
Transcending Impact Tribalism: CAPROCK's Matthew Weatherley-White discusses how the impact investing community can be inclusive while maintaining a high bar as the field moves beyond its earliest stages. 
'Socially Responsible Real Estate' in the UK: Shamez Alibhai of Cheyne Capital discusses their real estate impact fund, which includes low-income housing, and why he wants more competition. 
From Apartheid to Prisons, the Evolution of Impact: Sonia Kowall of Zevin Asset Management talks about the future of the impact space and punishment profiteering among public companies.

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Soundbites

Heron President Clara Miller makes the case that the modern economy demands a different practice of philanthropy that makes use of all of its resources to actively engage for the public good. It upon her 2011 strategy document "The World Has Changed and So Must We," and explains our new operating model

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Publication

Heron's Holdings

Learn more about the progress we have made in building our portfolio, see the full list of our holdings or check out individual holding profiles. For example, Aperio offers Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) indexing strategies for public equity (stock) portfolios. DBL Investors attract private capital into low and moderate-income neighborhoods through “double bottom line” investing.

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About Heron

Residents mourn the victims of Oakland's Ghost Ship warehouse fire as the nation continues to grapple with rising rent costs and precarious living situations.

Photo of the Month

Bridgespan researchers share new hiring practices aimed at improving future job opportunities and income for "disconnected" youths.

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Field Notes

Gabi Zolla from CAEL discusses the ways that they are changing the practices of workplaces and schools to better accommodate adult learners.

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Soundbites

In this issue, old is new in trade policy, jobs men don't like, Radiolab talks poverty, AEI proposes a safety net overhaul, and feature on impact investors ring in 2017.

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In Case You Missed It

The Future of The Middle Class

ICYMI: The Regrexit of the Left Behind
In this issue, why Brexit inequality matters for the United States, middle class politics, private equity's Main St. creep, and the candidates' philanthropy.

Multimedia: 'A Big Leap of Faith' Hiring Organized Farm Labor
After learning to make a living growing organic strawberries, one farmer decided to invest in the economic conditions of his own workers by using a union.

Field Notes: Reducing Inequality and Raising Wages By 2032
The Economic Policy Institute finds that people of color will be a majority of the American working class in 2032 and stresses the need to reduce inequality by then.

Field Notes: Creating 'Good Jobs' Through CDFI Investing
InSight at Pacific Community Ventures supports investment in "good jobs" with a report helping CDFIs define them & track their borrowers' impact on communities.

Pulse Post

Those who call themselves "impact investors" intend to make a positive impact on the world. So what does Heron mean when we say that all investing is impact investing? Learn more in concepts.  Related concepts include fiduciary duties and social performance.

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Concept

The Family Independence Initiative's Mauricio Miller speaks out against negative stereotypes surrounding those in poverty and highlights their resourcefulness.

Influencer Series

Heron is investing for a thriving society.

We are a philanthropic institution that makes mission investments (including grants) focused on improving economic opportunity and integration of poor people in the U.S. economy. Click "show related" to see more on Heron, our investment strategy and investees.

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About Heron

The Economic Policy Institute finds that people of color will be a majority of the American working class in 2032 and stresses the need to reduce inequality by then.

Field Notes

Bad jobs contribute to more people living in poverty [and] a bad economy. -Zeynep Ton
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Quotable

Racial Inequality in Working America

Photo of the Month: June 2016
This photo of the month shows protesters at the trial of a cop involved in Freddie Gray's murder and highlights the need for racial and economic healing in Baltimore.

Soundbites: A Majority Minority Middle Class
In this podcast, Angela Glover Blackwell of PolicyLink discusses why racial equity is an important component for America's middle class.

Field Notes: Reducing Inequality and Raising Wages By 2032
The Economic Policy Institute finds that people of color will be a majority of the American working class in 2032 and stresses the need to reduce inequality by then.

Field Notes: A Resource for American Health Recovery
Country Health Ranking and Roadmaps report presents collected health data, urging sectors to pursue equal health rights in the United States.

Pulse Post

Farm workers tend a field in California, as the state passes historic legislation for agricultural overtime pay.

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Photo of the Month

In this issue, a new video on poverty and opportunity, Trump and the universal basic income, the Wall Street rules rollback, and impact investing in a volatile age.

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In Case You Missed It

Americans no longer believe that they will be financially secure & stable.

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