This post was originally produced for Forbes.
James Lee Sorenson, whose late father was listed among Forbes’ billionaires and left his fortune to charity, has focused his significant personal wealth accumulated through his own entrepreneurship on driving impact around the world, by “building a comprehensive impact ecosystem that has the appropriate tools whether that is a philanthropic grant, a social impact bond, or an equity investment to address different societal challenges and create sustainable scalable impact.”
At present, Sorenson, via the Sorenson Impact Foundation, is working on three separate but closely related projects, including the Sorenson Global Impact Investment Center (commonly known as the SGII Center), pay for success financing and an impact investing fund.
Of the SGII Center, he says, “For a variety of reasons, there are limited amounts of risk capital going to support companies of social impact to bridge the gap between purely philanthropic and commercially oriented capital. The SGII Center has played a catalytic role in helping to address such issues and facilitate these program-related investments.”
He’s excited about pay for success financing, about which he notes, “It’s really a new day dawning for nonprofits, for governments that are major funders for social services, as well as a growing number of investors that are interested in investing in something that has a positive benefit to society”
“We are currently raising a commercial impact fund that will address the capital gap social enterprises face domestically and scale promising businesses in sectors like education and financial inclusion that will have a profound impact,” Sorenson explained.
“I hope that our efforts will accelerate the growth of the sector at-large and help lead to improved societal change on a global scale,” Sorenson concluded.
Krista and Jim Sorenson in Nepal
Sorenson recently visited Nepal with CHOICE Humanitarian founder James Mayfield and his staff. Next month, I will be visiting Mayfield in Nepal with CHOICE.
On Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at noon Eastern, Sorenson will join me here for a live discussion about his work at advancing impact investing opportunities. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about the Sorenson Impact Foundation:
The Sorenson Impact Foundation funds a variety of worthwhile endeavors including charitable, educational, scientific, environmental, health care and religious purposes. Of primary interest are those grants and program related investments that have the potential to become sustainable, scalable projects that maximize positive impact on the lives and societies they touch.
A world-renowned entrepreneur, business leader and societal innovator, James Lee Sorenson serves as chairman of the Sorenson Impact Foundation, which funds sustainable, scalable endeavors that maximize positive impact on the lives and societies they touch. Most recently, Sorenson contributed $13 million to the University of Utah to the creation of a global impact investing center.
Sorenson was instrumental in developing several new industry categories, including digital compression software that helped usher in the online video revolution at Sorenson Media, and video relay services that transformed opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing individuals through Sorenson Communications.