Join Our Spring 2023 Leader Cohort

Have you already discovered the power of values-aligned investing and want to help other women activate their capital?  Have you longed to make the time to move your money into purposeful investing, with the support of a trusted community of women?  Do you want to further develop your leadership skills and strengthen your network?

Become an Invest for Better Leader!

Invest for Better is a public charity seeking to empower women to understand the power of their investment assets, learn how to align them with their social and environmental values, and activate those resources to make a more just and sustainable world.

Invest for Better Circles are facilitated by volunteer Leaders who want to activate their capital for good and build a community to help other women achieve their own goals for positive impact. Invest for Better manages 2 cohorts of Circles per year, supporting the Circle leaders with training, camaraderie, and support throughout.

What is an Invest for Better Circle?

  • An intimate group of 8-20 women who meet monthly over a 6-month period (in-person and/or online).
  • A structured curriculum based on the book, Activate Your Money: Invest to Grow Your Wealth and Build a Better World. Topics include:
    • Values-Aligned Investing: Step into Your Financial Power
    • Your Relationship with Money: Invest with your Heart and Mind
    • Values-Aligned Opportunities: Cash, Stocks, and Bonds
    • Values-Aligned Opportunities: Private Investing and Alternatives
    • Asset Allocation: What Do You Currently Own?
    • Take Stock: Investment Goals, Financial Advisors, and Next Steps
  • Several monthly webinars (optional) featuring content experts, financial advisors, and investment products
  • A powerful community of trust to help members learn together and take action.

 

Why become a Circle Leader?

Women are inspired to lead for many reasons. They want to deepen their investing knowledge and put their money to work for a better world. They want to build a community of supportive peers.  They want to develop a network to share investment ideas. They want to advance women’s financial literacy and grow the values-aligned investing ecosystem in their local community and beyond.

You do not need to have investing expertise to lead a Circle although it is helpful to understand financial and investment basics. You do need to be committed to serve as a convener and to reach out to women in your life who you think would become members. The time investment for Leaders ranges from 4-8 hours/month, and eases over time. Some Circles are managed by a single leader while many have co-leaders. IFB will support you all along the way.

The Circle Leader Experience

You will receive:

  • A free 12-month membership to Invest for Better with all benefits
  • Two training sessions prior to Circle launch
  • Help matching you with a Co-leader (if desired)
  • Support recruiting your Circle members
  • Detailed curriculum for Circle meetings as well as guidance and supporting materials to help you succeed (via our online platform).
  • Monthly Circle Leader cohort calls, designed to hone your group leadership skills, facilitate sharing & build a leader community.
  • Opportunity to participate in any of our Deep Dive courses

Spring 2023 Leader Cohort Training Dates

 (all sessions recorded for those who cannot attend live)

More Information 

For more information, please contact: info@2022.investforbetter.org

To let us know you’re interested, complete this form:

https://2022.investforbetter.org/getinvolved/lead-a-circle/

 

Leader Testimonials 

“The Invest for Better sessions have opened the eyes of so many women in our circle about how much more power they hold to make real change than they previously understood. Two of them have already made impact investments midway through our sessions! It’s so inspiring to be a part of this growing movement.” – Christen G.

“Many of us have taken action within our personal investment strategies including moving money to CDFIs, black owned banks; making changes to our investment portfolio and engaging in more intentional discussions with our financial advisors….several of us have used what we learned to start to make changes in how our employers use their money… and discussing ways we can reallocate some of that money to CDFIs/ more diverse banks to better align to our stated DE&I goals.”   -Lisa C.

“I’m still meeting with my circle regularly and in our upcoming meeting we’re going to be leveraging a lot of the tools shared over the last few months to actually dig through and make investments that are aligned with their desired impacts (we’re starting with 401k allocations). The women have absolutely loved participating in IFB!”  -Kristen O.

“Women have the power to change the world, but so often we underestimate that power or let uncertainty hold us back. Through Invest for Better, we are equipping women with the knowledge and tools they need to shift their money to align with their values. All investments make an impact, and our group has created a casual, fun space for women to learn from and share with one another about their journey to take control of their money and its potential.” – Jensyn H.

“My co-lead and I are having a grand time together and with our cohort. It is very personally satisfying to help and see new and old friends become excited about where they want to invest their money and arm them with the tools to become values-aligned.” – Lisa R

 

 

2023 Membership Renewals

As a current Invest for Better (IFB) member, you know that our offerings give women the confidence, skills, and encouragement to use their investment assets to influence things they care about. Most IFB members start by either joining or leading a Circle – small, peer-led group of women who are committed to increasing their personal knowledge and participation in values-aligned and impact investing.

As you get involved with IFB, you quickly realize how much more we offer. With a Circle registration, members get a full year to take advantage of our offerings which include: 3-month Deep Dive courses, advanced network building on our membership platform, live events and training on specific topics, and discounted partner-sponsored services conferences and events.

 

 

As we start the new year, we’re asking you to renew your membership with IFB and commit to growing the larger movement. We’re also offering some new benefits in 2023 to help you deepen your knowledge and move your money.

The member renewal fee of $100 is a tax-deductible donation that goes toward supporting the larger movement.

We invite you to partner with us as we build and grow this platform for action.

 

[ RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP NOW ]

 

 

February Deep Dive Courses Enrolling Now

Invest for Better’s Deep Dives are 3-month “elective” courses that complement our signature 6-month Core Curriculum on values-aligned investing. Like our 6-month Circles, these 3-month experiences provide curated learning materials and engage women in live sessions that meet every month. They are designed to take participants deeper into topics of interest—and provide the knowledge and confidence to take action. Each of the February courses will be facilitated by a subject matter expert and meet live on Zoom at a predetermined time each month.

Four Deep Dive Courses will be offered for this round (February-April):

These offerings allow members to construct a personalized learning journey on a timeline that works for them—choosing a custom sequence from several years’ worth of course content that will be available. Invest for Better will continue to develop and add more Deep Dive Courses.

Part of what makes the on-going series of courses so valuable and unique is that they are being developed by industry experts specifically for the IFB community. In between expert sessions, participants can utilize the Invest for Better Mighty Network platform to engage with the course creators or other experts, who will monitor – and respond to – questions posed there.

Course Enrollment Includes Invest for Better Membership

  • Advanced Network Building: Engage with women in our global community through our private IFB networking communications platform. Be supported as you take action moving more of your money into alignment with your values.
  • Live Events and Training: We offer several live events for members each month (Activation Series speakers & Ask the Expert sessions). Check out our Events Page for what’s coming up next.
  • Partner Services: Obtain discounts to partner-sponsored services, conferences, and events. Benefit from our partner, ValuesAdvisor, when you are ready to search for a values-aligned financial advisor. Receive a 50% discount on membership to the American Sustainable Business Network.
  • Activate Your Money: Invest to Grow Your Wealth and Build a Better World by IFB Co-founder Janine Firpo. (Members in the US will receive the hardcover version of the book. International members will receive the e-book version.)
  • Deep Dive Courses: Members can participate in 3-month courses (such as this one) that use our signature Circle format to cover advanced topics. New topics are introduced three times per year and Deep Dives are free for the duration of your Membership.

Register

Enrollment is open until one week before the start date of the course (to allow participants time to complete preparatory work). By clicking on the individual course links above, you will be taken to a page with more detail and registration links (both for current IFB members and non-members).

If you have questions, please contact info@2022.investforbetter.org.

Thanks San Francisco!

Last week, we had a great time at our first Regional Gathering in San Francisco. We teamed up with Women Investing for a Sustainable Economy (WISE) and welcomed both IFB members and WISE members as well as some new friends.

 

“Investments You Love” A New Member Benefit

For eons, women have shared their wealth of knowledge with one another to benefit others in similar circumstances. Invest for Better is continually working to create and nurture a trusted community of women who can rely on each other for insight and suggestions, where questions can be posed safely, and where hard-earned wisdom is shared among members

Today, we’re launching a special benefit within our online platform for our members to make these connections. It’s called “Investments You Love”. You can help other women find great investments by sharing your favorites and why you love them. Whether you’re just beginning or have been investing with your values for decades, we want to hear from you!

  • Did you just find a great new checking account at a credit union that invests in local businesses?
  • Have you studied the best fossil-free mutual funds and have the recommendation to share?
  • Did you find a great new ETF in the public markets that match your goals to support women-led companies?
  • Did you find a trustworthy place to buy cryptocurrency?
  • Is there a private equity fund you discovered that’s been a great find?
  • Have you tried a new crowdfunding platform and had a great experience?

 

 

This is a no-sales, trusted space. If you work for the company behind the fund or benefit from it in any way, be completely transparent and say so. And if you are an investor, share that information too.

Our co-founders and staff have shared a few of their own favorites to get things started. We hope that this becomes a go-to place to share top tips (and maybe lessons learned) as you draw on the collective wisdom of this diverse community of generous and knowledgeable women.

 

 

 

 

 

“Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?”

“Philanthropy or Investing: Why Not Both?” by Ellen Remmer
is an excerpt From “Feminist Giving: Creating New Frontiers in Social Change”

After 25 years focused on both her own philanthropy and advising others,  Ellen Remmer became persuaded that philanthropy alone was not enough to make big societal changes.

“The deeper I got into impact investing, the more I was persuaded,” says Remmer.  “It connected me to my money in new and different ways, and it was so much more interesting personally. Moreover, I realized that many of the societal problems we want to solve are caused (in part) by problems in the capital markets and/or can only be solved through the capital markets. Think gender and racial equity, for one!”

Remmer is part of a minority of women in our culture who have pursued their interest in impact investing to the point of actually doing it. While more women are finally moving into impact investing today, Remmer wants to add to that momentum and make sure they are equipped with knowledge and guidance to not just do impact investing, but do it well.

A projected $400 billion or more will be directed to impact investments in 2020, a dramatic increase from $80 billion in 2011. But Remmer notes that there is a disconnect between women’s interest in the field and the actions they currently take with their investments.

Invest for Better launched as a project of TPI in early 2019 in collaboration with a coalition of national leaders from organizations like Mission Investor Exchange, Mission Throttle, and the Case Foundation. In 2021, Remmer spun it out as an independent nonprofit, with co-founder Janine Firpo, author of the acclaimed book Activate Your Money:  Invest to Grow Your Wealth and Build a Better World.

“We know that women are hungry to learn more about how to invest with their values,” Remmer says. “We help build their knowledge base and make it easy for them to activate their investments for impact.”

Getting Together with Other Women and Making It Happen

The primary way that Invest for Better gets women active is by offering them the opportunity to join or lead Invest for Better Circles, groups of 6-15 peers who meet either in person or virtually over a 6-month period, using a curriculum based on Janine’s book. As part of the experience, each woman establishes a “move your money goal” and commits to an action step. These action steps include things like, “I will talk to my partner about allocating some or all of our shared investments to impact”, or “I will better understand how my cash is invested and choose a bank that matches my values.” Others may be about finding a new financial advisor or making an angel investment. So far, over 800 women have been part of an Invest for Better Circle  “This is really about accelerating things,” says Remmer, “and getting women to understand that values-aligned and impact investing are possible and there are many ways to do it.”

One way Remmer sees impact investing having big potential is with Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) investments.    “Not enough people know about the opportunity to invest in their own communities through CDFIs,” says Remmer, noting that CDFIs are generally a more secure investment than stocks, and pay a guaranteed return. “I just had coffee with this amazing woman, Catherine Berman, who has started an impact investing firm called C-Note which invests in CDFIs throughout the country.” The annual return on CDFIs through C-Note is 2.75% with no fees. Recently, the firm also launched The Wisdom Fund, which is specifically aimed at increasing capital access for women-owned businesses.

“If you start to change the face of the investing community so women are more deeply involved, you’re going to change the nature of what we’re investing in, and who we invest in,” says Remmer. She sees this happening both in philanthropy and in finance, and has been a frontrunner in both of those movements. She and her sisters and mother started a family foundation about 30 years ago, focusing on disadvantaged girls, an idea that was barely registering on the radar of philanthropy at the time.

While philanthropy directed exclusively to women and girls still only makes up a small fraction of philanthropy, it’s an area of philanthropy experiencing intense growth now, alongside capital investments directed at gender equality. Between the two, Remmer is on a mission to help remove limitations for women, and shift their understanding of the role they can play.

“I’ve been a philanthropic supporter of the work that Joy Anderson of Criterion Institute is doing, and it’s exciting to see so many people trying to get in on it now,” Remmer said. Ranked by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, Joy Anderson has been highly instrumental in laying the foundation for social impact investing, particularly for women.

Remmer also sees women doing creative things with their Donor Advised Funds, and was an early adopter of these techniques.  “I’ve got about four different deals through my DAF at the Boston Foundation,” she says. Remmer says some of these investments are in the form of recoverable grants and some take other forms, but the bottom line is that money that was formerly “just sitting there” is now activated for social and environmental impact.

Using Donor Advised Funds for Catalytic Strategies

“With my DAF, I’m willing to take higher risks,” says Remmer. “I’ve done a lot more local things with my DAFs. One is a social finance bond here in Massachusetts, and another supports the Boston Impact Initiative, which invests in a diverse and inclusive economy. I also have one with an energy breakthrough group called Prime.

Remmer referenced the expanding realm of vehicles that women can explore if they want to do more impact investing. “The bottom line is that women have to think more about the investing side of things across the board.” Doing so will likely lead to the kind of epiphany she had two decades ago when she started learning about impact investing with a gender lens.

“It used to be that we gave away 5% of our foundation, and we didn’t even think about the rest,” says Remmer, noting that now her family foundation is 100% invested for impact. That epiphany led her to develop a passion for the field, which is now converging with other cultural factors driving the growth of the approach, particularly for women. “The point is, I went through a personal journey with impact investing, and while philanthropy is fantastic, I wasn’t using the power of what I had in all of those other resources.”

Excerpt From:
“Feminist Giving: Creating New Frontiers in Social Change”
by Kiersten Marek.

This material may be protected by copyright.

Deep Dive Courses: An Offering for Invest for Better Members

Invest for Better’s Deep Dives are 3-month “elective” courses that complement our signature 6-month Core Curriculum on values-aligned investing. Like our 6-month Circles, these 3-month experiences will provide curated learning materials and engage women in conversations with other women in small groups that meet every month. They are designed to take participants deeper into topics of interest—and provide the knowledge and confidence to take action. Some courses will follow the self-guided format of the core curriculum, while others will be primarily “live” sessions facilitated by an expert.

Five Deep Dive Courses are currently available:

These offerings allow members to construct a personalized learning journey on a timeline that works for them—choosing a custom sequence from several years’ worth of course content that will be available. Invest for Better will continue to develop and add more Deep Dive Courses.

Those enrolled in a 6-month Circle can continue meeting alongside members of their current Circle on these Deep Dive topics—or choose to join a new Circle for this experience. New Invest for Better members with extensive prior experience in values-aligned investing may choose to enroll in Deep Dive courses without having completed the core curriculum (Learn more about this membership option here).

Part of what makes the on-going series of courses so valuable and unique is that they are being developed by industry experts specifically for the IFB community. In between expert sessions, participants can utilize the Invest for Better Mighty Network platform to engage with the course creators or other experts, who will monitor – and respond to – questions posed there.

Open enrollment for Fall Deep Dive courses ended on October 18th, but openings may be available. If you would like to enroll, please contact info@2022.investforbetter.org.

Introducing Our New Deep Dive Course – The Racial Wealth Gap: Past, Present & Potential for Change

Join Us for Invest for Better Day – September 15, 2022

The second annual Invest for Better Day is coming on Thursday, September 15, 2022 and we’re mobilizing a ‘Day of Action’ to catalyze women across the country and beyond to each take a small action step to invest for a better future!

We have put together a list of 10 things you can do on the 15th – you can do one thing on the list or do them all!

 

 

 

10 THINGS TO DO FOR INVEST FOR BETTER DAY

1.     Find a new bank on Mighty Deposits
2.     Look inside your stock funds on Invest Your Values
3.     Have a conversation with a friend about how they invest their money
4.     Watch a video to build your investing muscles
5.     Talk to your financial advisor or find one who invests your values
6.     Sign up for Invest for Better’s monthly newsletter
7.     Read Activate Your Money
8.    Connect with other women who invest their values
9.     Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter
10.  Help us grow the movement – share this list with your network

 

ENTER TO WIN A BUNDLE OF BOOKS FROM THE IFB COMMUNITY  

 

We’re excited to feature some of the women who are part of the IFB community and their writings as a raffle prize for those participating in IFB Day. By sharing one of our social posts on IFB Day, you will be entered to win a bundle of books that includes the following:

 

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

 

To enter the drawing/raffle, you can either tag IFB or hashtag #InvestforBetterDay on social media posts.  Details for each social network are below:

  • On Twitter tweet and share your small action (tag @InvestforBetter and/or include #InvestforBetterDay)
  • On LinkedIn post and share your small action (tag @InvestforBetter and/or include #InvestforBetterDay)
  • On Instagram post and share your small action (tag @investforbetter_ifb and/or include #InvestforBetterDay)
  • On Facebook post and share your small action (tag @investforBetterTPI and/or include #InvestforBetterDay)

 

WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SEPT. 16, 2022 

 

We will randomly select a winner from those who share (and tag) social posts. The winner will be announced on September 16, 2022 on our social media accounts.

We hope you’ll participate by taking an action step to align your money with your values on September 15th and encouraging others in your life to do the same!

 

 

 

Invest for Better Newsletter Archive 

Here are all the Invest for Better newsletters in one easy place! 

 

 

Did someone forward this link to you? Here’s how to subscribe.