The Family Impact Canvas — a new tool for change makers

In about six weeks, CSSL will formally launch our new Social Impact Collective, a new community of high net worth families seeking insight, tools and connection to make their giving and impact investing more effective. Our inaugural group will gather for our Discovery Weekend in Half Moon Bay at the beautiful Miramar Farms.

In addition to the amazing people who are founding the Collective, we’re fortunate to have a tremendous group of faculty for the weekend to drive learning, reflection and action on social impact. The faculty includes:

  • Laura Tyson, our former Dean, and the Director of the Institute for Business and Social Impact here at Haas
  • Paul Brest, the former President of the Hewlett Foundation and Professor Emeritus at Stanford
  • Kat Taylor, co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank and signer of Warren Buffett’s giving pledge
  • Diane Parnes, Board Officer at SV2 and former ED of the Sobrato Family Foundation
  • Fay Twersky, Director of the Effective Philanthropy Group at the Hewlett Foundation
  • Paula Goldman, Global Director of Impact Investing at the Omidyar Network

And we’re still adding speakers. It’ll be an incredible weekend that initiates a journey for a group of committed change makers. The journey will continue, guided over time, by a new tool we’ve developed for the Collective here at Berkeley-Haas, that we call the Family Impact Canvas.

Members of the Social Impact Collective will have access to a custom-built, six-week online course we’ve developed, which guides members through exercises and assignments that help them complete a first draft of the canvas. This work will produce giving and investing, a learning plan, and the start of a personal theory of how they’ll foster change through their giving and impact investing.

Some of you may be familiar with the business model canvas. It’s a powerful organizing tool for startups and established companies that is a foundational tool for MBAs at Berkeley-Haas. We also use an adapted version developed by my colleague Jorge Calderon for the Social Lean Launchpad course that we teach together.

We’re excited about the Family Impact Canvas because we believe it has tremendous potential to increase the social impact that results from philanthropic giving and impact investing. As you can see below, the Family Impact Canvas is anchored by the four defining principles of Berkeley-Haas, and it has interdependent parts that change as we learn and discover. The canvas pushes us to thoughtfully consider whether the sum of these parts are aligned with our values, our priorities, the problems we most want to solve, how best to solve them,and what we learn from the action we take.

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We’re excited too, because of how much we’ll learn using and improving this tool with members of the Collective. Like everything else we learn, we’ll share this with our community — so please stay tuned.

And, if you’re interested in membership in the Collective, we have just a few slots open to join us for Discovery Weekend from March 4th — 6th. You can fill out an application on the Social Impact Collective website. Feel free to reach out via email if you have questions — you can always reach me at