Date: May 2017

The TIGR: Introducing the Transformative Impact Grid

Bruce Hoyt

For more than 40 years, Gary Community Investments, which includes The Piton Foundation, has been making philanthropic investments across Colorado in an effort to improve the lives of low-income families. But, after investing $220 million in local communities over four decades, we came to a realization that has significantly altered the way we think and invest: traditional philanthropy alone isn’t enough to create the transformative change we’re seeking.

Since 2011, GCI has been pursuing a total portfolio investment approach, aligning all of our assets with our mission, regardless of whether an investment is made using philanthropic, market-rate or near market-rate capital. We are taking a blended approach to achieving social impact and financial returns because, unlike most philanthropic foundations, we do not seek to exist in perpetuity. By approximately 2035, GCI intends to fully invest all of our financial assets into community and business vehicles that are focused on solving the challenges facing Colorado’s low-income families.

But how will GCI transfer our corpus into high-performing, transformative organizations that have the ability to create and sustain our mission after we no longer exist?

We developed the Transformational Impact Grid (TIGR), a visual tool to help us evaluate new opportunities, clarify expectations for investment results and report on outcomes.

The TIGR evaluates investment opportunities based on an organization’s effectiveness and its potential for creating transformative change. And, because measuring non-financial impact has always been challenging, the TIGR provides us with a framework for measuring investment success over time.

The TIGR is reshaping and strengthening GCI’s long-term investment strategy, serving as an internal guide to help ensure that the grants, program-related investments and full, for-profit community investments we make have the power to create meaningful change to benefit low-income children and families.

Download this brief to learn more about how GCI is using the TIGR to ensure we are creating the change that is necessary to achieve--and sustain--our vision that all children in Colorado have the opportunity to grow up healthy and become productive members of their communities.