Resources & FAQs

We’ve gathered some helpful links for further exploration of topics related to our work and the spheres we operate in.

Quick Facts About Heron

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What is Heron's mission?

Heron was created in 1992 with the mission of helping people and communities help themselves out of poverty. The foundation works with a diverse set of investment strategies focused on fostering economic innovations and practices that lead to long-term economic opportunity and prosperity for all. 

What kinds of enterprises may receive investments or grants from Heron?

At Heron, most of our investments are made indirectly through money managers. Our investments in public equity, private equity, mezzanine and debt funds are focused on impact-oriented managers who integrate financial and social considerations into their analysis and performance measurement.

When we invest or make grants directly, the kinds of enterprises in which we invest tend to:

  • Have a multi-year track record, a solid management team and a reliable operating model;
  • Have a large geographic footprint or can show broad market influence;
  • Have identified a substantial growth or change opportunity that will lead to greater impact, increased revenue and sustainable operations;
  • Have a clear business plan that documents past financial activity and projected financial growth;
  • Articulate how a capital infusion from Heron and other providers will help them seize this growth or change opportunity; and
  • Be well positioned to attract and retain other investors.

What is your investment process?

Heron's role is a provider of capital to enterprises that further our mission. We invest across the financial spectrum — both directly and indirectly — in public and private debt and equity. By using an array of financial tools, we support a diverse group of enterprises, including nonprofits, for-profits and government entities. Just like for-profit enterprises, nonprofits need equity-like capital to grow. We provide this type of capital directly to nonprofits through Enterprise Capital Grants (ECGs).

Do you believe that there is a trade-off between financial return and social impact?

No. We believe the conventional view that managers and investors must choose between financial return or impact return is erroneous and rewards practices that undermine economic value in the long term. We are working to build the field of impact investing in part by sharing our experiences, outcomes and lessons learned as the field develops.