A New Breed of Philanthropists Looks to Use Business and Investing to Solve Social Ills

A New Breed of Donor Blends Giving and Investment Tools 1

Lisa Kleissner

Charly Kleissner (left), here visiting with a leader of the Indian microfinance group Mann Deshi, is among a growing number of people who look for investment opportunities that do social good.

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close A New Breed of Donor Blends Giving and Investment Tools 1

Lisa Kleissner

Charly Kleissner (left), here visiting with a leader of the Indian microfinance group Mann Deshi, is among a growing number of people who look for investment opportunities that do social good.

Not long after selling his wealth-management company, Ron Cordes started giving to organizations that make small loans to poor entrepreneurs in developing countries so they can start businesses. He traveled to Uganda and Central America to see his donations in action, meeting with borrowers and visiting the organizations that oversaw the loans. Over time, says Mr. Cordes, he started to realize that what he was seeing was an emerging business market.

As a donor “I would say,