Ending our Experiment
on Impact Investing
For nearly 40 years, Thousand Currents has supported movements working for systemic changes. We do this primarily through grants and by organizing and educating funders. Experimentation and innovation play a central role in our work, from our values to our practices. We believe in the necessity of trying something new, dissecting its components, embracing trial and error, and learning from those findings to figure out if such experiments can help us strengthen our support to movement partners.
In 2015, we embarked on a feasibility study and eventually launched The Buen Vivir Fund to see if our grassroots-centered impact investments could support the systemic change work of our partners. After close to 8 years of this exploration, we have come to the difficult realization and decision that programmatic investments are not the right vehicle for our work. As such, Thousand Currents has decided to conclude its programmatic investments experiments and close the Buen Vivir Fund, LLC and its related Buen Vivir Investment Management, LLC.
To be clear, the Buen Vivir Fund was a powerful experiment in co-creation, collaboration, and power sharing. We built a formidable community of people who in principle and practice were committed to a world that is just, thriving, and transformed. Our members implemented community projects to advance their priorities and aspirations. However, all of this work could have been achieved through our core grantmaking programs, and the need for loans from an organization like Thousand Currents was not proven necessary. In fact, the Fund’s loans were at risk of causing a burden to partners. Ultimately, strategic, ethical, and regulatory reasons along with conversations with partners led us to this decision.
We have not made this decision lightly. Now more than ever, movements need non-burdensome financial resources in the form of grants, not loans — and we are doubling down on our core grantmaking support to make this happen. Ultimately, this decision will enable Thousand Currents to focus our full energy on strengthening and scaling our support of movements working for climate justice, food sovereignty, and economic justice during this critical decade.
We are grateful for the brilliance, dedication, and hard work of the staff members who have contributed to the work of BVF over the years. We value the open and dedicated community of donors who chose to invest in and support this experiment. And we are deeply appreciative of the inspiring grantee partners whose wisdom, practices, and leadership made this work possible.
We will be sharing more about the Buen Vivir Fund story and our lessons in the coming months. Stay tuned for more.