COURSE TITLE: Real world impact investing: The $100,000 Challenge


INSTRUCTOR: Kim Wright-Violich




MEETING DAY(S)/TIME: Wednesdays 6:00 – 9:30PM


CLASS FORMAT: The course will employ a combination of cases, short lectures, distinguished guest speakers, group discussions and individual exercises, and teamwork to explore social impact investing and decision-making.

REQUIRED READINGS: Multiple methods will be used in teaching this course, including but not limited to readings on research in the field of education in the developing world, excerpted thought leadership pieces, business literature on driving change.

BASIS FOR FINAL GRADE: 60% Team deliverables and presentation on funding recommendations, 25% Class attendance and participation in discussions and debates, 15% Individual assignments

ABSTRACT OF COURSE'S CONTENT AND OBJECTIVES: This is a unique course in which Silicon Valley’s Echidna Giving, an LCC devoted to distributing philanthropic dollars to drive improvement in education in the developing world. Echidna will provide the class with $100,000 (real dollars) and the challenge to invest the money to generate significant social impact on education in the developing world. Echidna, has already set aside $150,000,000 to contribute and invest in girls’ education in the developing world. By providing these funds for the class to invest they believe the class will use student creativity and identify unique opportunities currently not funded or underfunded.  Students are expected to study the issues and landscape, learn about the theory and practice of impact investing, assess best practices in investing and education, identify and analyze investment opportunities, present recommendations, and leverage the investment for maximum social impact . Working in small teams, the class will recommend investments to a juried panel.


Kim Wright-Violich is founder and principal of a consulting practice focused on philanthropic and social sector consulting. Clients are primarily Silicon Valley executives focused on international, systemic changes. From 2000-2011 Kim served as founding CEO/President of Schwab Charitable, a nonprofit corporation founded by Charles Schwab & Co. to increase philanthropy by providing turnkey charitable asset management and philanthropic services. Built from start-up by Kim to the second largest donor advised fund in the US and the largest nonprofit corporation in California attracting over 13,000 customers, $5 billion in charitable assets and facilitating more than $2 billion in grants to more than 50,000 charities.

On Capitol Hill and with national media, Kim is a sought-after thought leader and public speaker in social sector investment, influencing legislation, published and widely quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CNBC, Bloomberg Television News, Investment News, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Chronicle of Philanthropy and Trust and Estates Magazine. Kim has been named one of San Francisco Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times (2006-2011), and 50 most influential women in the US for 2009 in wealth management by Wealth Manager magazine.

Kim is a graduate of Stanford University, with a BA in Human Biology and Public Policy; Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford Executive Program.