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Donor Spotlight: Toniic Pools Giving For Bigger Impact in Fighting COVID

By pooling philanthropic resources to address COVID-19, Toniic — a global impact investing community headquartered in San Francisco — has made a big impact. When the COVID-19 crisis accelerated in recent months, three Toniic members tapped the community to identify, vet and select two non-profit grantees in the San Francisco Bay Area making an outsized difference in providing COVID-19 aid.   
 
Toniic members use their capital and personal resources to deepen impact in more than 25 countries around the globe. With a network of more than 400 high net worth individuals, family offices and other asset owners, Toniic works to expand and improve the ecosystem of impact investing. The Toniic community has pivoted in recent months to focus efforts on ways to address the pandemic through small and large virtual gatherings and member-to-member networking. But three members -- Sayuri Sharper, Jennifer McFarlane, Rebekah Helzel alongside Toniic team member, Dipti Pratt -- took it a step further by pooling donations from the community to support Bay Area nonprofits. 

The Toniic co-sponsors created a new ImpactAssets Donor Advised Fund (DAF) — the Toniic Rapid Response Philanthropic DAF. The ImpactAssets DAF made the process of accepting donations from multiple donors fast and easy, largely by facilitating filing requirements and processing donation paperwork. This approach amplified support through aggregated donations, provided an opportunity for sharing member insights and local connections and established a template for future philanthropic initiatives within the Toniic community.  

Toniic members were able to participate with a minimum $2,000 donation, and the fund was seeded with a $50,000 match by an anonymous donor for an even bigger impact. By participating in the fund, donors also had the opportunity to nominate Bay Area non-profit grantee organizations making important contributions in the battle against COVID.  
 
Twelve qualifying organizations were identified leveraging the Toniic network through rigorous research to ensure an impartial process. Donor participants were adamant that the grants focus on direct reach to the most persistently vulnerable and affected.  These organizations presented their initiatives addressing four key areas of aid: food security, homelessness, cash payments to low income individuals and grants to catalytic providers such as community foundations. Donors voted in a two-step process, based on how effectively organizations were addressing immediate and pressing needs of the most vulnerable in the community. The field was narrowed from twelve to five organizations and then two winners were announced: LiveMoves and Mission Asset Fund.
 
LifeMoves is dedicated to finding solutions to homelessness in Silicon Valley by giving neighbors experiencing homelessness a temporary place to call home, while providing intensive, customized case management through both shelter programs and community outreach. LifeMoves will use the Toniic funds to acquire PPE for both staff and clients, food for clients and hazard pay for staff. 
 
Mission Asset Fund works to create a fair financial marketplace for hardworking families by helping low income and immigrant communities become visible, active, and successful participants in the U.S. financial mainstream. Mission Asset Fund will direct funding to Alameda County where the need is the highest, dispersing over 100 grants of $500 to individuals and families. 
 
The process moved fast. It only took three weeks from the kick-off on April 25 through final grantee selection on May 15. Because ImpactAssets is built to deploy capital quickly, LifeMoves and Mission Asset Fund received their grants within seven days.   
 
Toniic is a community of passionate investors who see the management of their wealth as an extension of their values. To learn more visit toniic.com or contact Dipti Pratt at dipti.pratt@toniic.com

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Impact investments are investments made into organizations and funds that generate measurable social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.