When most people envision investors’ portfolios, they picture lists of stocks, annuities, and bonds. Yet investing can go far beyond those vehicles. Many people decide to grow and share their wealth in different ways, including by giving money to innovative, humanitarian global initiatives.
How can investors get the most out of putting funds toward humanitarian businesses? In the case of nonprofits, investors may be able to get lucrative tax breaks. Or, they may be able to join boards or enjoy voting rights. These can improve their network, visibility, or personal brand. And that’s good for many professionals who want to build a nest egg through self-promotion.
There are plenty of humanitarian initiatives that have been around for decades. Consider UNICEF, for example. The organization has been around for more than three-quarters of a century and remains a leader in fighting everything from child poverty to food insecurity. Its longevity proves the value of an irresistible idea that requires focused execution.
Yet UNICEF is hardly the only organization trying to do good for the world. Many of its counterparts are showing both strong credibility and stickiness. Consequently, if one of this year’s resolutions is to lend your cash toward a purpose, the following initiatives may work for your needs. Just remember to investigate any company or not-for-profit for legitimacy and value before writing a check.
1. Incubating and Scaling Ideas to Relieve Intergenerational Poverty
You’ve probably seen the red noses on Red Nose Day. Since it began in 2015, Red Nose Day has been a big hit and raised more than $270 million to educate and empower kids. But you may not realize that the organization behind Red Nose Day, Comic Relief, just launched a different fund.
In an effort to help promote the incubation of ideas to end intergenerational poverty, Comic Relief announced a $10M innovation fund. According to Comic Relief, this Innovation and Growth Fund capital campaign is just the first of many. By the end of the 2020s, the nonprofit hopes to raise $1B toward its mission.
When asked about the new Fund, CEO Alison Moore explained that the Fund would use the money to drive powerful and memorable campaigns. “It will create paths to quickly incubate new ideas and bring successful ones to scale, leveraging innovation and creativity across the organization to address the complex social needs our world is facing,” said Moore. And with Comic Relief’s track record of producing exciting new avenues to get people excited about giving, the Fund may be worth more than a second glance.
2. Streamlining Paths to Healthcare Jobs
Healthcare has undergone massive changes in the past two years. Not the least of those changes is a shortage of labor. For many reasons, including burnout, some healthcare workers opt to leave the field. Unfortunately, this is causing a dearth of all roles. Take nurses, for instance. U.S. News and World Reports estimated that more than one million additional nurses will be needed in 2022. Yet traditional medical training can take years to complete.
This is where an initiative by Carrus may prove advantageous. Carrus, a top name in providing health-related education, collaborates with a select group of companies to create pathways for people to be trained in certain aspects of healthcare. Already, CVS and Walgreens have agreed to work with Carrus to populate their stores with well-trained, eager technicians who have the skill sets to start immediately.
How soon can Carrus students see the fruits of their upskilling? Carrus courses can take as few as 30 days to complete. In other words, adults can start their training and be job-ready in about a month. Then, depending upon the demand needed for their positions, they could spend very little time interviewing.
To ensure that all their opportunities are equitable and accessible, Carrus has opened the door for scholarship programs for BIPOC healthcare students. That way, anyone who wants to jump into healthcare can do so without worries about financial barriers. Though Carrus isn’t a nonprofit, you can add your support and investment by becoming a partner.
3. Creating a Cadre of Creators
According to The Economist and other publications, we’re living in a Creator Economy valued at around $100 billion. Indeed, people embrace the title: No fewer than 123,000 LinkedIn members call themselves Creators. Nevertheless, many people aren’t sure what a Creator is—or how to become one.
Creators tend to be gig workers who, not surprisingly, create content of some kind. They may work in the digital space, but some can offline work in more artistic capacities. However, the problem is that there hasn’t been any single way for someone to become a Creator until the advent of entertainment industry talent incubator Stage32’s newest initiative.
Led by Stage32 founder Richard “RB” Botto, the initiative aims to democratize the film industry by training would-be Creators. Botto’s goal has attracted plenty of attention and allowed him to snag a partnership with Netflix.
The first iteration of this Stage32-Netflix initiative is a five-part monthly webinar series entitled Creating Content for the Global Marketplace. The series teaches future Creators how to structure their content in an attractive way to entertainment decision-makers.
The webinars feature headliners from the entertainment industry realm and are free to attendees. Stage32 will make them available throughout 2022. It’s worth noting that Stage32 has some valuable investing content on its website in case you’re interested in expanding into the entertainment investment sector
4. Educating Healthcare Professionals in Large-Scale Disaster Preparedness
Johns Hopkins is a name long associated with excellence in the field of medicine. Today, the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health offers a special course designed to address healthcare professionals’ needs working with populations dealing with widespread natural or manmade disasters.
The course, entitled Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP), will run three times in 2022. Its purpose is to inform a broad range of professionals, from lawyers and logisticians to physicians and planners.
Whether students are novices to dealing with humanitarian disasters or have decades of experience, they can learn by taking HELP.
The HELP program is especially important now given the current climate; Especially with the spread of the original Covid pandemic and the virus’s Delta, Omicron, and emerging variants.
Though not limited to talking about disease management, HELP can play a pivotal part in making sure people at the forefront of Covid disaster relief feel educated and confident.
Where can an investor potentially shine in this humanitarian initiative? The HELP course costs a little over $1,000 for participants. Therefore, underwriting the cost of attendance for one or more students could be worthwhile. Alternatively, if you’d like to invest and allow Johns Hopkins to decide where your money is best spent, you can support an existing fund.
5. Making Moves Toward a “Net Zero” World in Less Than 30 Years
Is reaching “net zero” in terms of releasing carbon into the atmosphere an achievable objective? And can it happen within most of our lifetimes? Numerous organizations have said “yes” and joined forces to promote their beliefs.
Several asset managers have backed a Net Zero Asset Managers initiative aimed at presenting a unified front in the quest to reduce climate change-related warming. Vanguard and Blackrock are just two of the 87 asset managers supporting this global movement.
The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative acknowledges climate change as both a threat and an opportunity.
That is, climate change presents commercial organizations the chance to get clever and creative to save the planet from irreversible damage. They believe that their intended timeline to limit the earth’s general warm-up to just 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 is a doable one.
As noted by the founder of Alquity Investment Management, Paul Robinson, asset managers are in a unique position to fight human-borne climate change. “We need all asset managers to ensure that our capital is aligned with reversing the impacts of climate change,” notes Robinson. “It is possible for us, and the businesses we invest in, to use our skills, innovation, and determination to build a sustainable future.”
Although you can’t invest directly in the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, you can do your part by housing your investments with one of the initiative’s supportive asset managing partners.
For instance, you can find more information about this international group by visiting their website. You may also want to pass along information on the initiative to any asset managers you work with, so they’re aware of the opportunity.
Rethinking the Investment Mentality for the Second Decade of the 21st Century
You have a personal strategy that has worked so far when it comes to investments. But, nevertheless, you can’t discount the fact that there’s more than one way to earn, make, and spend your dollars.
Putting cash into humanitarian initiatives might not produce instant payback, it’s true. Still, it can be an excellent way to get long-term returns in ways that spreadsheets cannot measure.