Traditionally, philanthropy and investing have been thought of as two separate disciplines, one promoting social change, the other financial gain. That’s changing fast with the rise of impact investing.

Originally used by large national foundations such as Ford and Rockefeller, impact investments aim to produce a financial return and social benefit. This strategy has caught on with a wide range of investors, including large-scale financial institutions, pension funds, private wealth managers, and commercial banks. In the last five years, The Minneapolis Foundation has taken a leading role in making this powerful tool available to individuals and families with Donor Advised Funds. We are building on that success with InvestMPLS.

What is InvestMPLS?

InvestMPLS is a $10 million revolving loan pool with a fixed interest rate paid to participating investors. The Minneapolis Foundation has invested the first $5 million into this pool and is inviting a cohort of charitable investors to join the pool.

How does it work?

Assets in the pool will be invested with highly qualified intermediary Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), mostly located here in the Twin Cities. In partnership with these institutions, InvestMPLS assets will be deployed strategically to effect positive change in line with the Foundation’s mission, initially in two specific areas – economic vitality and education. Examples of potential investment areas include:

  • High-quality job training programs and business development in distressed neighborhoods
  • Technical assistance and capital to minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs of color
  • Creation and expansion of high-performing schools, particularly those serving low-income students of color

Learn more about our specific investment goals here.

Why choose InvestMPLS for your impact investments?

  • With the Foundation contributing $5 million of its assets to the InvestMPLS pool, donors can make their charitable investments go much further. This co-investment empowers donors to move the needle towards creating and sustaining living wage jobs and high quality education for low-income students of color.
  • Investors earn 1.75% interest on their investment in InvestMPLS.
  • The Minneapolis Foundation follows a careful and detailed vetting process to select investment opportunities that will produce the desired social impact with minimal financial risk.
  • A totally unique option to pool money from your Donors Advised Fund with other charitable investors who care about driving change in your community.

What’s next?

Whether you have a Donor Advised Fund at The Minneapolis Foundation, a private or family foundation, or are newer to philanthropy and are interested in exploring InvestMPLS, we welcome the opportunity to tell you more about the power of impact investing.

Contact Bill Sternberg, Philanthropic Advisor at 612-672-3825, or

A Proven Model

“Without that $200,000 working capital loan, we wouldn’t be able to do this job.”
– Dave Bice, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and owner of Bald Eagle Erectors, one of the contractors who worked on US Bank Stadium

Find out how The Minneapolis Foundation used impact investing to help local business owners take advantage of the economic opportunities associated with the development of a billion-dollar stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.


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