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Become a Social Impact Entertainment Producer

Innovative strategies for investing donated capital

Many people dream of earning a producer’s credit while helping to catalyze the production of a movie, video game, musical, or play that they care about. However, few understand that this dream is within their reach. A new wave of interest in impact-investing has resulted in innovative ways of using donated capital to generate real social and environmental impact. For example, donors can invest in for-profit social impact entertainment productions that align with their core values. We are increasingly seeing donors use financial vehicles like Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) and receiving producer credits for their investments in these productions, while also receiving corresponding tax benefits.

Social Impact Entertainment (“SIE”) is not a new concept. Society has long recognized media’s power of stories to drive social change by highlighting important narratives, shifting attitudes, shaping culture, and generating empathy and activating people to effect measurable change. Seminal films like Blood Diamond and Food Inc. brought global attention to issues relating to conflict diamonds and animal cruelty in the food industry respectively. The entertainment industry increasingly uses its platform to address societal issues. In the last few years, acclaimed films like Hidden Figures, Roma, Moonlight, and Don’t Look Up have raised awareness regarding issues of sex, class, LGBTQ+ rights, and climate change, among others. In addition to movies, television, documentaries, plays, novels, and video games can also qualify as SIE if they incorporate messages that drive social change.

DAFs offer the flexibility to invest donated capital in fun and meaningful projects. In fact, donating to SIE productions is only one of the new, innovative ways for people to invest their donated capital. Unfortunately, most large DAF sponsors do not have SIE productions or other exciting impact investment prospects on the limited “menus” they offer their DAF clients. This is a missed opportunity because society could benefit from harnessing the full potential of DAFs and delivering more entertainment with positive embedded messaging.

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For Colored Girls Advertisement

For example, one of our clients was extremely passionate about using their DAF to financially support the 7x Tony Award-nominated Broadway adaption of the choreo-poem For Colored Girls and its celebration of the power of Black womanhood. Afterwards, they said, “I was at the premiere, and it felt so good to feel like I was a part of the production and the story.” While this client had a specific SIE production in mind, LOHAS helps connect donors to SIE opportunities that reflect the causes most important to them and that reflect their brand of impact.

Storytelling has the power to create social change and transformation on a global level. We hope to see more parties using their DAFs (or setting up new DAFs) to invest in social impact entertainment.

LOHAS is a leading Donor-Advised Fund sponsor that distinguishes itself by having no investment menu or minimums when facilitating the impact investing goals of its clients. LOHAS is at the forefront of a societal movement to do more impact investing by better utilizing donated capital, fully unlocking the power of DAFs, and supporting entrepreneurial donors. If you are interested in having your donated funds invested in the impact you want to see, contact us today.

William Nix has extensive experience in the entertainment, media, sports, and intellectual property fields as a producer, corporate executive, investment banker, and attorney. He is a thought leader in the social impact entertainment (“SIE”) field who helps lead LOHAS’ SIE practice, supporting investors with socially and environmentally impactful entertainment ventures. ... Read more
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