Lumina Foundation Awards Its First Impact Investments

The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation has announced a first round of strategic social investments through its impact investing program.

The foundation aims to use impact investing to expand its capacity to serve as a catalyst in helping the nation achieve Goal 2025, the foundation's initiative to increase to 60 percent by 2025 the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates, and other credentials. To that end, Lumina will invest in companies, organizations, and social investment funds that can generate measurable and qualitative results that advance its goals of increasing postsecondary attainment and closing achievement gaps.

The initial cohort of organizations receiving investments includes Credly, a technology platform for verifying, sharing, and managing digital badges and credentials; BridgeEdU, a provider of intervention services designed to boost retention and college completion rates by targeting first-year college students most at risk; and New Profit, a nonprofit accelerator with a long history of scaling high-impact nonprofits.

"We now have the full spectrum of impact investing tools to drive Goal 2025, marshalling partners and co-investors who share our commitment to improving postsecondary learning," said John Duong, director of strategic impact investments and social innovation at Lumina. "Our plan is to act as a strategic partner with investees. We want to use Lumina's network and thought leadership in postsecondary learning to help advance their innovations and approaches. At the same time, we're confident that these innovative approaches can inform our own grant making and help leverage investments from other partners as we work toward our highly focused goal."

"Lumina Foundation Announces Strategic Social Investment Strategy." Lumina Foundation Press Release 05/09/2016.