Firm hosts first national mission investing institute for community foundations

Southfield-based Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC hosted a one-of-a-kind Mission Investing Institute on September 10 and 11 with more than 40 community foundations in attendance. The event provided attendees with an interactive learning environment facilitated by veteran mission investors, issue experts and experienced foundation professionals nationwide from Kellogg, Fisher, Kresge and more.

All 40 community foundations joined forces for the common cause to further enhance their communities by gaining additional knowledge on impact investing. Foundation professionals and trustees learned about the many key aspects of mission investing, including the power of donor engagement, financing in urban and rural communities, leveraging co-investment, and impact measures and monitoring tools. Additionally, Jaffe Partner Jennifer Oertel
presented on the legal questions, concepts, requirements and documentation for a community foundation mission investing program.

“I commend the Council of Michigan Foundations and Mission Investors Exchange for bringing these community foundations together to succeed towards a common goal,” said Oertel. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to share my legal expertise in the mission investing space and be a part of such a forward-thinking initiative that will surely make a major impact on multiple communities across the country.”

The event was led by Seattle-based Mission Investors Exchange, a national membership organization of foundations and mission investing organizations where philanthropic innovators share ideas, tools and experiences to increase the impact of their capital, and supported by the Council of Michigan Foundations, a community of members committed to growing the impact of Michigan philanthropy through investing in the state's charitable organizations, convening business, government and nonprofit leaders.

“The opportunity for impact investing is compelling,” explains Debbie McKeon, senior vice president of member services at the Council of Michigan Foundations. “It is motivating to see foundations come together to share knowledge and build the capacity for impact investing nationwide in a state known for its rich history of philanthropy and innovation.”

As a 2015 Midsize Hot List honoree, Jaffe has earned national recognition for its impact investing & social enterprise practice group. The group serves as a leading force for social enterprise across the country and has made a proactive and positive impact on communities and entities nationwide. For additional information on the Mission Investing Institute, visit


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