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Why Investors’ Circle national sees Philadelphia as the model for local chapters

Philly is the model for IC national. February 4, 2016 Category: Method
Nonprofit Investors’ Circle is a national network of angel investors working to drive impact investing forward, but you might recognize the name from its local chapter, Investors’ Circle Philadelphia.

Even though the national network has chapters in Boston, D.C., North Carolina, Colorado and New York, the Philadelphia chapter is most active — making it a prime candidate for testing how a local chapter model might work.

“Philadelphia is our most active local network and really is a great example of what we think we can really do to move impact investing forward on more local and regional level,” said IC Communications Associate Meredith Martindale. “That’s where we’re excited to be able to take what we’ve learned from Philadelphia’s local network and continue to iterate that in each of our other local networks.”

Each chapter is headed up by a leader– a local IC member willing to volunteer their time to furthering local chapter efforts as a representative. The national network sees these local chapter heads as managers, though they’re technically able to adjust their title. In Philadelphia, former chapter head John Moore was President. His successor, Annarie Lyles, may or may not use the president title.

Semantics, really. Whatever the title, IC national relies on those chapter leaders to be their boots on the ground as the network continues to expand its reach.

That reach is beginning to breach national borders. This past autumn, IC partnered with Duke University and USAID to take a handful of members to east Africa to seek investment opportunities in global health initiatives. They’ll be doing it again with a larger group of members at the end of the month.

“There’s great excitement and excitement about traveling together and going and being on the ground and seeing the work that’s happening around different global health initiatives and how we might be able to bring impact investing into that work,” Martindale said.

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