Friday afternoon reflections on another week of generous matters

Investments in good

Photo illustration by Kelly Blair for Time

There’s a new kid in the world of finance — social-impact bond (SIB) funds that let investors get rich while doing good. As reported in this week’s Time magazine, here’s how SIBs work.  

Funded by private investors, SIBs aim to finance long-term preventive programs run by nonprofit groups to tackle tough social issues that cost taxpayers money. How? Governments pay for a program’s success. If an SIB-funded program mitigates a problem by meeting measurable targets, that saves the government money, and a portion of the savings is used to repay the bondholders with interest. . . if the social project fails to meet its targets, investors are out of pocket, and the government doesn’t pay a penny.

SIBs aren’t for small donors (like me). Investors tend to be high-net-worth individuals, trusts, and foundations. However, if SIBs take off, maybe one day I (or you) will sit on the board of an organization benefitting from social investing. We can dream.

Merge ahead?

If there’s the possibility of a merger (or other collaborative venture) ahead for the nonprofit(s) in your life, you’ll want to download and read The M Word: A Board Member’s Guide to Mergers.  It’s brought to all of us by the good folks at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services with funding from The San Francisco Foundation.

Designed as a practical guide to help nonprofit board members, executives, and funders think through a merger, what The M Word won’t do is convince you that a merger is the right choice for your organization. What it will do is provide information to help you make that determination for your own situation.

 Did I mention that The M Word is free? Jan Masaoka and her pals at CompassPoint know that generous matters.

What’s your volunteer nom de plume?

The volunteer quiz from Volunteer Canada  (note my clever use of French in the caption) lets you discover which of six types best describes your service style. Answer 13 simple questions, and presto, you’ll be told if you’re a Cameo, a Groupie, a Juggler, a Rookie, a Roving Consultant, or a Type A volunteer. The quiz is fun, and (at least in my case) surprisingly accurate.

What's your take on this topic?

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