Giving back with impact Christal Jackson's disruptive philanthropy.

Author:McKinney, Jeffrey
Position::Wealth For Life

WHETHER IT'S FUNDING A REAL estate project to provide decent public housing, or offering capital to help minority entrepreneurs launch a business, Christal Jackson views those as excellent opportunities in which individuals and corporations can invest now lo enrich African American communities.

Jackson runs Head and Heart Philanthropy, an 8-year-old Oakland, California-based social impact agency focused on empowering the work of people committed to advancing African Americans' prosperity. She encourages impact investing, or "disruptive philanthropy," by companies, organizations, angel investors, and funds to provoke social and environmental change linked with a financial return.

To date, Jackson says her agency has facilitated nearly $2 million in grants and investments. Her investment approach embraces Wealth for Life Principle No. 10: I will strengthen my community through philanthropy.

The market for impact investing is big business. There were $77.4 billion in impact investing assets as of late 2015, according to the Global Impact Investing Network, with some 87% of respondents saying their financial returns met or exceeded their expectations.

Along with real estate and infrastructure, Jackson suggests the tech and health sectors as --opportunities. In fact, investors can gain returns of 6.9% on average, according to Jackson. But, before taking an investment risk, Jackson suggests potential donors consider these strategies:

  1. Make sure investments align with your mission and core values. There are so many issues competing for cash. Do your research, and be clear on what matters to you the most.

  2. Lessen your risk. Keep as much cash hand as possible, at least for the next 18 to 24 months, given the nation's current uncertain economic climate. You can also collaborate with donors investing in the same social issues.

  3. Decide what "impact" means to you. Social returns, for instance, might be more important than financial returns. Knowing the methodology helps you develop clearer metrics for success.

Potential donors can learn more at

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