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Jun 5, 2018

Mission-Related Mortgages: How Heron’s Mission-Driven Investments withstood the 2008 Financial Crisis

In an effort to be as transparent as possible, Heron has been posting the performance of its financial portfolio dating all the way back to 1992. And lately, observant readers have been sending us questions about the way in which Heron’s portfolio performed during the 2008 financial crisis.

Drone view of a forest in autumn

Jul 19, 2018

Nuts & Bolts: How We Visualized Our Evolving Portfolio

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.

Aug 30, 2018

Thinking Out Loud: Implications of the Small Business ACE Act

This summer, Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) introduced a bipartisan bill called the Small Business Access to Capital and Efficiency Act, also known as the Small Business ACE Act. The point of the Small Business ACE Act is to strengthen the Small Business Administration 504 loan program (SBA 504) by reconciling conflicting requirements and removing unnecessary burdens.

Sep 6, 2018

The Unintended Consequences of a “Jobs” Investment

A few years ago, Heron gave a sizable grant 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.

Oct 15, 2018

Heron's Fixed Income Letter of Intent

To convey our mission to our preexisting and prospective managers, Heron has created a Letter of Intent for our fixed income portfolio.

Dec 19, 2018

Questions We’re Asking This Week: San Joaquin Valley Edition

We’re launching a new series called “Questions We’re Asking This Week” that catalogs some of the inquiries we’re chasing in order to help people and communities help themselves out of poverty.

Dec 19, 2018

A Quick Guide to Place-Based Investing

At Heron, we’re always looking for opportunities to better align our investments with our mission — which sometimes involves investing deliberately in specific geographies. Here is a spectrum of strategies that we look to when we are trying to invest in a specific place.

construction hats near an orange crane

Feb 21, 2019

Questions We're Asking this Week: Pensions & Community Prosperity

Pension liabilities can be a detriment to community prosperity, while pension funds can be a source of power for workers. With those dynamics in mind, here are a few pension-related questions we’re asking this week.

river in a forest

Mar 5, 2019

Heron's 2019 Presidential Podcast

In 2018, Dana Bezerra became the new president of Heron. However, Dana has been at Heron for 13 years in total, starting as a program officer in 2006. She’s seen Heron grow and change and is now sharing her guidance, leadership, and lessons learned as we focus on the intersection of communities and capital markets. In this podcast episode, we ask Dana to reflect on her first year as president, and share what’s next for Heron.

bookshelf and blue couch in office

Apr 29, 2019

General Operating Support: The Effective Thing to Do; The Respectful Thing to Do

General operating support can provide nonprofit organizations with the flexibility to plan, innovate, and pivot in their work. So, why don’t more foundations provide general operating support as part of their grantmaking strategies? In this post, we chat with Mary Jo Mullan, a former and longtime member of the Heron team, about the importance of general operating support.

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