A few years ago, Heron gave a sizable grant to an anchor institution to stimulate job growth in a city that had high rates of unemployment. While our intentions were good, our grant resulted in unintended consequences for the community— prompting us to reevaluate how we think about net contribution in a place.
In our role as a capital provider to both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises, we have seen that proper capitalization is an essential ingredient for healthy, resilient enterprises that serve clients, investors, and other stakeholders with excellence over the long haul.
When Heron declared its intention to invest 100% of its assets for mission, we needed to find new ways to track and visualize the portfolio as it changed over time. Six years later, we want to share where we stumbled in the process, what we have learned from our attempts, and where we are today.