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Participatory Investing: The Inside and Outside Arguments

Impact investing is a story about money and power — who has it, and how it’s shared. Unsurprisingly, this power is unevenly distributed across locations, gender, race, and sexual orientation. 8 in 10 employees at impact investment funds are white; more than half are white men. Founders that are women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ+ collectively receive less than 10% of VC funding. This leads to a measurable “like funds like” phenomenon - investors tend to favor investments that reflect their identities, demographics, outlooks, and worldviews. Participatory funding is the process of shifting decision-making power over investing to the very…
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Meg Massey is a writer and strategist committed to democratizing impact investment. She is the co-author of the 2021 book Letting Go: How Philanthropists and Impact Investors Can Do More Good By Giving Up Control. Her writing has also appeared in Impact Alpha, Nonprofit Quarterly, and Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Ben Wrobel is Director of Communications at Village Capital, a pioneer in participatory investing. He started his career as chief speechwriter for the NAACP, and later raised money for voter registration campaigns including Stacey Abrams’ New Georgia Project.
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