By Julie Hammerman
Even Bill Gates wishes he had more money for charitable purposes. With limited philanthropic dollars in the world, a growing movement known as “impact investing” leverages investment capital to support philanthropy, when market solutions exist. The recent article 21 Ways to Help Israel highlights excellent organizations in need of donations, and inspired this list of 12 impact investments that also benefit Israel. If you’re looking for ways to support Israel during the current conflict and you’ve maxed out your philanthropic donations, consider these impact investment options.
1. Israel Bonds
The first “Jewish” impact investment, Israel Bonds support government services and infrastructure in Israel.
2. Koret Israel Economic Development Funds (KIEDF)
KIEDF provides microfinance and small business loans to women, Bedouin, Arab, and Ethiopian Israeli entrepreneurs who may have trouble accessing traditional bank financing. Interest-free loans can be made at kiva.org.
3. Dualis Social Investment Fund
Dualis invests in for-profit social businesses that train and employ disadvantaged populations in Israel.
4. Impact First Investments
The fund invests in socially driven Israeli high tech companies in the fields of healthcare, education, and the environment.
5. Social Finance Israel
An issuer of social-finance products, such as Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), that fund effective nonprofit organizations and provide both social and financial return to investors.
6. Israel Venture Network
IVN only accepts philanthropic donations at this time, but the organization helps advance the impact investing field in Israel by supporting and investing in sustainable social ventures.
7. Israeli Venture Capital Funds
A number of Israeli venture capital funds invest in socially or environmentally beneficially companies. Examples include environment funds such as Israel Cleantech and Terra Ventures. Funds with measurable positive impact on the world will soon begin reporting this information to investors, in addition to financial reporting.
Crowdfunding platform for accredited investors interested in Israeli startups. Many of OurCrowd’s companies are impact investments, including Eden Shield (non-toxic crop protection), and ReWalk (robotic exoskeleton for paraplegics).
9. Israeli Mutual Funds and ETFs
Israeli equity funds support public companies in Israel, the Israeli economy and job creation. Fund examples include BlueStar Indexes, Aberdeen, AMIDEX, and iShares MSCI Israel.
10. Angel Investing
Angel investors have many options to support Israeli early stage ventures including funds (ex. Janvest Technologies), angel impact investor networks (ex. Toniic Israel), and incubators such as NGT3 for Arab Israeli biotech entrepreneurs and StartUp Tech Be’er-Sheva in the Negev.
11. Israeli Investments for International Development
Advancing international development and alleviating poverty are important goals for impact investors. Israeli investment opportunities in this sector are growing as highlighted at the Schusterman ID2 Conference and include Vital Capital, an impact fund in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Energiya Global, a solar field developer in emerging markets.
12. JLens Equity Impact Fund
This is the first Jewish mutual fund, joining over 100 faith-based US equity funds with $31 billion in assets. The fund will track the S&P500 index, and invest in US companies that are ‘best in sector’ on social and environmental metrics aligned with Jewish values. The fund will be the only fair shareholder voice on Israel in the increasingly anti-Israel socially responsible investment field. Take this survey to help JLens craft the fund’s Jewish values overlay, and suggest charitable beneficiaries for any excess fund fees.
This list of impact investment options is provided for educational purposes only. Please consult a financial professional to determine suitability before undertaking any investment.
Julie Hammerman is Executive Director of JLens, an investor network engaging the Jewish community on impact investing through a Jewish lens. @jlensnetwork