At Cogent, we speak the language of philanthropy, business, and impact investing. We apply traditional investment discipline, community engagement, and creative design to impact investing and strategic advising. We work with a diverse set of mission-driven investors and entrepreneurs through evidence-based and actionable advice. If you are a foundation, social entrepreneur, philanthropist, or investor that wants to use the tools of finance and sustainability to change the world, please reach out to learn more.
We are advocates for people who have a passion for their work and a commitment to creating their own success. Our financial acumen is balanced with demonstrated leadership ability, appreciation for the values of people we assist, and an innate ability to communicate effectively. We empower individuals to achieve their organization’s mission, and in turn they shape lives and make a difference in their communities.
– Susan Hammel, CEO
Cogent worked with foundation members of the Minnesota Council on Foundations to create a collaborative, location-based impact investing fund. The Minnesota Impact Investing Initiative is part of RBC Access Capital, a fixed income fund that invests in small business and affordable housing-backed securities in Minnesota and allows investors to allocate their invested dollars by zip code. Thanks to lead anchor institutions—The McKnight Foundation, Bush Foundation, Otto Bremer Trust—the fund is close to $20 million in assets.
In partnership with Impact Hub MSP and support from the Bush Foundation, Cogent Consulting lead a year-long project to grow the Minneapolis-St. Paul impact investing ecosystem. We began the project by designing a map of the impact investing ecosystem which demonstrates the breadth and complexity of the Twin Cities impact investing activity. The ecosystem project—which tripled in engagement in the ecosystem—has been renewed for a second year.
Cogent designed and structured a $2.1 million loan fund for The Saint Paul Foundation to address Saint Paul’s 13.4% job loss from 2000 to 2011. The East Metro Job Creation Loan Fund invests in local intermedaries Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) and Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) who make $20,000 to $150,000 loans to businesses in Saint Paul.
Each year, Cogent provides pro bono services to a non-profit partner. Currently, Cogent is working with Impact Hub MSP to advance it’s mission of accelerating social impact by curating experiences that activate economic participation, cultivating peer learning and industry-to-industry collaboration, building state-of-the-art physical space for entrepreneurs and innovators, and connecting to a global network of changemakers as an Impact Hub. Cogent supports and facilitates an Impact Investing and an Impact Reporting Community of Practice, each of which meets monthly at Impact Hub MSP. Additionally, Cogent hosts monthly Social Entrepreneur Roundtables which serve as an opportunity for social entrepreneurs to learn more about impact investing and engage in the local ecosystem.
Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
Center for Nonprofit Advancement, Faculty
Children’s Museum of Northern Virginia
Coalition for Smarter Growth
Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation
Delta Dental of Minnesota Community Affairs
First Children’s Finance (formerly Development Corp. for Children)
Impact Hub MSP
Iowa Council on Foundations
Izzy’s Ice Cream
House of Charity
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Main Street Project
Minnesota High Tech Association
Minnesota Council on Foundations
National CASA Association
Project for Pride and Living
Renewing the Countryside
Sunny Hollow Montessori
The Family Housing Fund
The McKnight Foundation
The Saint Paul Foundation
The Womadix Fund
WEAVE (Women Empowered Against Violence)
Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
University of Chicago, Lecturer
University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education
University of St. Thomas, Small Business Development Center