Impact Shares Secures Funding from Rockefeller Foundation

Impact Shares Secures Funding from Rockefeller Foundation

Philanthropic Organization Backs First Nonprofit ETF Platform’s ESG Mission

August 01, 2017 09:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Impact Shares, the first and only nonprofit exchange-traded fund (ETF) platform, has secured a $300,000 grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to partner with other leading nonprofits to launch focused social issue investment products.

The funding from one of the nation’s foremost philanthropies highlights the tremendous potential of Impact Shares in engaging retail investors in the impact investment movement. Impact Shares will be launching the first of its innovative ETFs in late 2017.

Led by ETF industry veteran Ethan Powell, Impact Shares will partner with other nonprofits working toward social missions and direct all of the funds’ advisory profits of the individual ETFs back to the partner nonprofit organizations.

“The rise of impact investing, coupled with the growth opportunity within ETFs, creates an opportunity for organizations and charitable groups to bridge capital to their cause while generating more awareness for and additional revenue to support their mission,” explains Powell. "As we’ve shared our intentions with some of these groups, we’ve been pleased with the interest and response. We are already engaged with several leading nonprofits in the areas of minority rights, affordable housing, the arts and conservation."

As a nonprofit, Impact Shares is uniquely positioned to allow these groups access to the ETF market while augmenting their own operating budgets and creating a lifetime of engagement with their stakeholders.

“There remains a gap in ETF offerings that allow investors the opportunity to earn a market rate of return, while simultaneously creating what we call social alpha; that is, the knowledge that they are contributing in a significant way toward the issues they are passionate about,” asserts Powell.

“The Rockefeller Foundation saw an opportunity for socially-conscious organizations to generate awareness and engagement while simultaneously introducing new revenue streams to be used in advancing social good,” says Adam Connaker, program associate at The Rockefeller Foundation. “Impact Shares is the first nonprofit entity to sponsor exchange-traded products—a framework that fits the Foundation’s vision of how capital markets can help the social initiatives we support.”


Impact Shares is an ETF issuer and Investment Manager that is creating a first of a kind platform for clients seeking maximum social impact with market returns. Impact Shares' goal is to build a capital markets bridge between Leading Non-Profits, Investors and Corporate America to direct capital and social engagement on societal priorities.


The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission—unchanged since 1913—is to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, we pursue this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, we work at the intersection of four focus areas—advance healthrevalue ecosystemssecure livelihoods, and transform cities—to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot.