Impact Investing Field ScanPage
Convening Roles in Impact Investing
Impact investing is a growing marketplace of tens of billions of dollars. A 2008 Monitor Institutereport, “Investing for Social and Environmental Impact,” estimates that the impact market couldtop $500B by 2018. Comparatively, this would be nearly double the amount of current annualphilanthropic giving in the U.S.To help create this marketplace, a handful of foundations -- led by the Rockefeller Foundation --have incubated and funded a variety of
to create, support and evaluate thefield. Convening groups tend to serve one or more of three purposes:•
Define the landscape
of impact investing by studying its developments, creating andstandardizing investment and/or reporting metrics;•
Support social-enterprise entrepreneurs
technical assistance (“T.A.”)
tohelp manage and launch their business and connect them to investors; and•
Support investors and institutions
by researching developments in the field, vetting andproviding their members/constituents with information about investment opportunities.Several organizations provide leadership in these areas, and further information is provided forseveral of them in the appendix. A subset is profiled here as examples of key actors with whomTides may be able to partner.
> PROFILE: THE GLOBAL IMPACT INVESTING NETWORK (GIIN) -- LANDSCAPE DEFINITION
The GIIN is a 501c(3) public charity operating under the fiscal sponsorship of RockefellerPhilanthropy Advisors. The GIIN developed the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards(IRIS) Guidelines to serve as “a common social and environmental vocabulary” that can beused by social enterprise and investors to evaluate impact returns. Organizations that adoptthe IRIS definitions for their impact reporting can contribute data to the GIIN, which willproduce industry-wide benchmarks and support related analysis. While IRIS and other workfrom the GIIN is meant to be used by the general public, the organization’s primaryconstituency is its Investors Council, designed for investors with significant capital alreadyinvested with a clear social or environmental impact. Members range from major privatefoundations (Gates, W.K. Kellogg, Annie E. Casey) to multi-national financial servicescorporations (e.g. Citi, Deutsche Bank, TIAA-CREF).
> PROFILE: INVESTORS CIRCLE (IC) -- CONVENER + T.A. FOR INVESTORS
IC is a marketplace of investments. The non-profit organization supports a membershipnetwork of “150 angel investors, professional venture capitalists, foundations and familyoffices.” The organization, now merging with the SJF Institute (which convenes and providesT.A. to social enterprises), solicits prospectuses from early-stage enterprises. IC invitesselected organizations to present to the IC network at in-person and virtual Venture Fairs.
Philanthropic Roles in Impact Investing
More specific to the arena of foundation investment strategy is
, the practice of aligning a foundation’s asset investments with its mission. Manyfoundations rely on finance-first SRI vehicles to achieve
(that is, financialreturns that are at least equivalent to the returns of the market as a whole) while avoidinginvesting money at cross-purposes to their philanthropic missions.