Impact Investing Education

The Activator Series is a guided learning journey brought to you by Toniic that leverages our 10 years of experience supporting global impact investors. The Series provides Toniic members with a systematic overview of the portfolio approach to impact investing for High Net Worth Individuals, Family Offices, and Foundations. The goal of the series is to give people who are new to impact investing (or investing in general) the basic tools they need to start deploying their wealth in better alignment with their values.

Accelerate Your Impact Investing Journey in Three Phases

BasicPortfolio ApproachIntermediate
Understanding Impact InvestingIntro to Portfolio ConstructionUnderstanding Impact Management
Frameworks for Impact InvestingUnderstanding Private Equity FundsIntegrating Philanthropy
Forming Your TeamUnderstanding Private Equity Direct DealsUnderstanding Emerging Markets
Incorporating EvidenceUnderstanding Private DebtCrafting your Theory of Change
Choosing SDGs, Impact Theme, Geographies, and LensesUnderstanding Alternatives to Private Debt and EquityIntroduction to Reimagining Capitalism
Picking Your ApproachUnderstanding Public Equities
Considerations for FoundationsUnderstanding Bonds/Public Debt
The Impact Investing EcosystemUnderstanding Real Estate
Understanding Cash
Understanding Other Asset Classes

The Activator Series: Choose which modules are relevant to you.

  • Live Educational Modules: Interactive content webinars 
  • Exercises: Worksheets and assignments may be included in between monthly modules to help you apply the concepts to your own impact investing goals
  • 24/7 Access: Watch recorded webinars anytime
  • Glossary of Commonly Used (and often mis-used) Terms
  • Detailed Written Guides: Each topic will also include detailed written guides to support your learning

The Activator Cohort: Complete the entire course with a small group.

  • All access as listed above. 
  • Cohort Kickoff Session: Overview of the course, learning objectives, meet cohort-mates, identify any special requests from participants, identify personal goals and learning objectives
  • Cohort Closing Session: The final session of the Basics Module is a guided peer-learning session to explore key next steps, how participants will move forward, what support is needed from the community, available resources, and what accountability is desired between peers.
  • Cohort Study Groups: Facilitated one-hour Study Group Calls for each module to deepen the learning experience, share resources, answer questions and help participants put information to practice.
  • Optional Cohort Buddy: We encourage members in the cohort to partner up with one other participant to travel through the journey together for support, accountability and for deepening relationships.

Current Learning Modules

DateTitleDescription
February 4Understanding Impact InvestingThere are many confusingly overlapping terms in use to describe investments intended to do good for the world.   Sustainable Investing, Responsible Investing, Mission Investing, ESG investing, Socially Responsible Investing, Green Investing, among many others. And … Impact Investing. What distinguishes impact investing from the other approaches?
March 3FrameworksThis module covers frameworks from the Impact Management Project, the International Finance Corporation, and the United Nations (Sustainable Development Goals). It explains the frameworks and their applicability to your work as an impact investor.
April 7Forming Your TeamToniic members include those who make all investment decisions themselves, those that have a full time Family Office team, and those that leverage outside advisors in various ways. This session discusses pros and cons of these approaches and provides resources to complement your internal capabilities.
May 5Incorporating EvidenceCertain types of impact approaches and interventions have been studied academically and with rigour, including Randomized Controlled Trials. While most of that work has been in the context of philanthropy, some of that learning is directly applicable to evaluating the impact of investments. Learn where to find and how to evaluate evidence of which interventions are likely to succeed in their intended positive net impact.
June 2Choosing SDGs, Impact Themes, Geographies and LensesToniic has identified 60 impact themes tied to the 17 SDGs. Learn about the SDGs, the associated impact themes, which are most active in the community, and some examples of particular constraints faced with specific themes and geographies. Learn also about lenses that some investors use instead of SDGs, such as gender, underrepresented fund managers, or investments seeking systemic change.
July 7Picking Your ApproachComparison of the two basic approaches to impact investing: carve out and portfolio. The carve out (or “classic”) approach takes a percentage of an overall portfolio and invests in deep impact private investments. The portfolio approach views impact as a lens that applies across an entire portfolio or one’s investable wealth, including all asset classes. This session describes the two approaches (and sub-approaches within them), with guidance on what you need to do to get started with each approach.
August 4Considerations for FoundationsFoundation investors face unique constraints, and those constraints vary by jurisdiction. In the US, tax code provisions require specific characterizations of investments as Mission Related or Program Related, with associated constraints. In all jurisdictions, the fiduciary duty obligations of foundation trustees can be wrongly understood as a barrier to implementation. This session focuses on some of the unique constraints facing Foundation impact investors.

September 8
The Impact Investing EcosystemLearn about the roles of accelerators and incubators, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), venture philanthropy networks, field building foundations, consultants, advisors, and other investor networks in the impact investing ecosystem.