Houses in Alamo Square, San Francisco

Investing DAF Assets to Support Bay Area Communities

Impact Investments, Workforce & Economic Mobility, Homelessness & Housing, Children & Families


$7.5MMobilized from donor-advised funds into curated impact-first investment opportunities

Social Finance partnered with Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) and Jewish Community Federation & Endowment (JCFEF) to curate place-based, impact-first investment opportunities that allow donors to invest their donor-advised fund (DAF) assets to equitably support communities that have faced historical disinvestment.


  • Address issues of inequity facing the Bay Area community: Mobilize capital toward impact-first investment opportunities that support affordable housing, income inequality, nonprofits facing instability in the wake of Covid-19, and climate change.
  • Provide impact-first investment offerings to donors: Curate opportunities for donors to direct capital toward causes of interest.
  • Engage and educate donors: Build donor familiarity with impact-first investments and illustrate how impact-first investments can bolster their philanthropic giving.
  • Develop proof of concept for sponsor engagement efforts: Learnings can be used to codify processes for thousands of other DAF sponsors across the country.

The Work

Social Finance worked with the two San Francisco Bay Area-based DAF sponsors to develop an initial comprehensive suite of products, tools, and services to help DAF sponsors mobilize more DAF capital toward impact-first investments.

  • Social Finance curated, vetted, and packaged themed portfolios focused on affordable housing, environment, economic mobility, and supporting nonprofits that allow DAF donors to direct capital toward charitable, impact-first investments aligned with the issues that matter most to them.
  • Social Finance engaged donors through focus groups, donor educational events, and email campaigns to activate and engage DAF donors on impact-first investing.
  • The capital was pooled and deployed across more than a dozen nonprofit financial intermediaries that provide equitable access to capital to small businesses, entrepreneurs of color, families, and individuals in low-income communities, helping preserve and create jobs, affordable housing, environmentally-friendly solutions, and essential services.
  • In parallel, Social Finance codified the underlying documents and processes into a playbook that can be adapted and used by more than 1,000 other DAF sponsors across the country to mobilize capital toward impact-first investments at scale.

As a result of this engagement, donors at SVCF and JCFEF had access to a “third bucket” they could deploy their DAF capital to impact-first investments.

Our pilot with Social Finance has allowed us to expand the tools we can offer our donors to help them amplify their impact, achieve their philanthropic goals, and contribute to equitable recovery efforts.

Nicole Taylor

President and CEO, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Nicole Taylor Headshot
In traditional philanthropy, dollars can only be granted once. Social Finance’s impact-first investments, which blur the line between giving and investing, offer a more impactful and scalable approach to using capital for good.

Laura Lauder

Founder, Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund

Headshot of Laura Lauder wearing fisheye blouse and gold necklace.


Website Notices

Related Work