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  • Writer's pictureJSC Impact Consulting

Investor Spotlight: Claire Raffel – “Stories First”

What determines an impact investor’s diligence process? For some, due diligence begins and ends with an evaluation of the business model. But for many impact investors, the motivation to even consider diligence begins with the social enterprise’s story and its storytelling.


Claire and her husband have a donor advised fund, focused on investing in projects that will accelerate a just energy transition and ensure that communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis benefit from and have ownership in the transition to a net-zero world. When evaluating a potential investment opportunity, Claire examines the potential scale of impact first, which typically comes across in the social enterprise’s storytelling. Once that initial storytelling threshold is passed, Claire’s diligence process includes evaluating the financial and impact models.


Claire, whose career has been spent in the public sector, specifically working in social justice, is married to Dave, a climate scientist. Their views on investment in purpose driven business are aligned with their personal and professional interests. Most recently, Claire and Dave made a large investment in Navajo Power, a social enterprise that develops renewable energy and energy storage infrastructure in partnership with Tribal Nations. Claire was drawn to this enterprise because it was clear that Navajo Power understands the unique history of Tribal lands and the concerns of Tribal communities and can create space for Tribes to cultivate opportunities with support from a trusted partner, developing projects that respect Indigenous rights and return wealth to Tribal members for generations. Furthermore, the projects they help develop have huge potential for further commercial capital and government funding to support their growth. The story of how the social enterprise arrived at the problem and its Tribal sovereignty-focused development solution was backed by solid business plans, which instilled trust and confidence as an investor. The stories resonated with Claire and Dave. The investment outcomes are part of that story. 

 

Claire is clear about her investment thesis, she cares deeply about impact, and holds firm in her philosophy that the investee enterprise knows best how to allocate the dollars to have the most impact. Storytelling, understanding “what” drives the right investors and public audiences, and having the impact and financial models to back up a social enterprise is a formula for successfully scaling its mission.   


JSC is ready to help your social enterprise, non-profit, or hybrid organization craft and communicate a compelling story rooted in impact measurement and management best practices. From there, JSC supports your organization through defining your opportunities, setting a fundraising strategy, and engaging with targeted audiences across the impact financing spectrum – whether that be with angel investors, VCs, foundations, grantors, or debt providers.  


Interested in talking to Claire about Navajo Power or her other investments? Feel free to connect with Claire.


Part of the Donor Advised Fund community?


Join Claire in conversation with Impact Assets on a webinar, ImpactAssets Impact Investing Lab: A Case Study in Aligning Your Investments with Your Giving on May 22.24.

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