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A growing camp of activists at Standing Rock highlights a larger struggle for indigenous land rights and control over their economic future.

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Photo of the Month

  • 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

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

In this issue, tribal poverty, the art and need of civic protest, the rural-urban economic divide, why unions might still matter, and the corporate soul.

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In Case You Missed It

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

Rebuilding America's Workforce

Soundbites: Bringing Dignity to the Working Class 

Toni Johnson spoke with Tamara Draut of Demos about her new book, the shifting demographics and conditions of the working class and upcoming work from Demos.

Photo of the Month: August 2016

This month’s photo highlights Labor Day with a young girl from Shenandoah, Pennsylvania a small mining town with a poverty rate of over 20 percent.

Field Notes: Making "Bad" Jobs Better 

The first of Steve Dawson's "Pinkerton Papers" on job quality, recruitment and retention says jobs that provide stability are a first step toward social mobility.

In Case You Missed It: Age of Stagnant Wage

In this issue, wages down while profits up, more on union decline, inequality in the justice system, and why more social equity is needed inside philanthropy.

 

Pulse Post

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

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

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Field Notes

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

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

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

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About Heron

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

Influencer Series

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

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

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Tweet • @HeronFdn

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Data on Poverty

National and global poverty data reveals falling prosperity for America’s poor. See highlights and key takeaways from U.S. census data on poverty and income inequality, or our summary of the World Bank’s progress report on global poverty.

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Field Notes

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

In this issue, the Bilderberg discussion on endangered workers, Adam Smith's views on inequality, a newish Paul Ryan poverty plan, and the "appifying of philanthropy".

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In Case You Missed It

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

A few key lessons Heron learned as we began the process of transforming our portfolio toward 100 percent impact.

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Pulse Post

The first of Steve Dawson's "Pinkerton Papers" on job quality, recruitment and retention says jobs that provide stability are a first step toward social mobility.

Field Notes

Canerow's Mia Birdsong asks us to take a deeper look at people living in poverty in her TED talk and argues we are listening to the wrong narrative.

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Join the Debate

Employees in Post-Fossil Fuel Economies

Photo of the Month: March 2016
The photo highlights the impact of NAFTA and other trade agreements on U.S. workers, which is a topic of the presidential campaign.

Soundbites: The Trouble in Post-Coal Communities
In this podcast, the Northern Plains Resource Council's Teresa Erikson discusses the declining coal industry's impact on communities once dependent on their success.

Field Notes: The Thorny Complexities of Impact Investing
Two articles in the Stanford Social Innovation Review delve into the difficulties of impact investing and why the traditional investment structure remains an obstacle.

ICYMI: The Thinner Common Good
In this issue, bank and coal bankruptcies, automation-proof jobs, campaigning on poverty, the racial divide, and the inequality discussion at Skoll.

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Pulse Post

In this podcast, Angela Glover Blackwell of PolicyLink discusses why racial equity is an important component for America's middle class.

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Soundbites