ExpiredInvesting in Communities Luncheon

  • Investing in Communities Luncheon
    March 28, 2017
    11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Join WPN is welcoming William W. Towns, Executive Director of Benefit Chicago. Built in Chicago’s proud tradition of innovation, commitment to community and high ideals, Benefit Chicago’s purpose is to strengthen social sector organizations working hard every day to bolster families and communities and pave the way to a more sustainable future for our entire region. Benefit Chicago is designed to bridge the gap between these two sides of the region’s nascent impact investment marketplace, unlocking new financial resources for organizations whose work benefits the communities and people that need them most. Benefit Chicago is a new collaboration that aims to mobilize $100 million for impact investments for nonprofits and social enterprises working throughout the Chicago region.

Also during this luncheon, we will hear from Lisa Richter. In Fall 2016, Greater Milwaukee Foundation partnered with Incourage and the Wisconsin Philanthropy Network to survey impact investing practices and interests among the state’s foundations.  Defined as investing in companies, organizations and funds with the intention of generating measurable social and environmental impact along with a financial return, impact investing has attracted increasing practitioners and interest among Wisconsin funders as a tool to help build healthy, equitable and environmentally sustainable communities throughout the state.

The survey aimed to better understand the needs of various stakeholders in the use of impact investing and to identify opportunities for collaboration among foundations, and also other impact investors, including banks, health systems and government agencies.We are pleased to present the survey findings and to hear your suggestions for how the field can best work together to expand understanding and use of this additional philanthropic tool.


William Towns comes to Benefit Chicago from the University of Chicago, where he led the Neighborhood Initiatives team and its work to fuel economic growth, better health outcomes and increased vibrancy and sustainability in south side communities. Prior to that, he worked on affordable housing issues related to families and communities at Mercy Portfolio Services, focusing particularly on 27 Chicago neighborhoods hit hard by the economic downturn. He administered a $169 million federal grant for the city’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), preserving more than 1,000 homes and, in the process, helping create 1,700 local jobs. He earned his M.B.A. from Notre Dame and his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Loyola University. He has also completed multiple certifications and executive education programs—from work at the Kennedy School at Harvard to the University of Lyon in France, all focused on the development of people, places and organizations.

Lisa Richter is a co-founder and managing partner of Avivar Capital, a national consultancy and SEC-registered investment advisor that assists foundations and other institutions to design and execute impact investing strategies. Lisa brings over two decades of fund management and investing experience spanning asset classes, return expectations, geographies and issue areas, and frequently incorporating place-based or sector focus to increase equitable access to opportunity. Clients range from small to the nation's largest independent and community foundations, banks and institutional investors, with interests ranging from driving particular place-based or thematic impact investing outcomes to strategies that apply social criteria to traditional asset allocations targeting market-rate expected returns. Lisa authored the Grantmakers In Health Guide Impact Investing, co-authored Equity Advancing Equity (a guide to community foundation impact investing) and co-authored a rural community foundation impact investing guide. In addition, she co-designed the Mission Investors Exchange Institute where she continues as a lead trainer.  She holds a BA and an MBA from the University of Chicago.




11:00 a.m. - Registration

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Program and Lunch

Two days prior to the event, you will receive an email with directions and parking information.



Hosted & Sponsored By



Greater Milwaukee Foundation logo




Amanda Buckley, Director of Program Development, at 262.317.6005 or mailto:abuckley@wiphilanthropy.org.



Venue Phone: 414-224-6464

233 N. Water Street, 4th Floor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202, Unknown