Impact Investing

SJF Ventures

Guided by a mission to catalyze the development of highly successful businesses driving lasting, positive changes, SJF Ventures (originally known as the “Sustainable Job Fund”) invests in high-growth companies creating a healthier, smarter, and cleaner future. Since its launch in 1999, SJF has invested in more than 50 ventures, creating over 8,300 jobs.  To further its impact, SJF also advocates for policies that foster a more sustainable, just economy.

Impact Investment

Glass Pockets

The Foundation Center

Glass Pockets is an online resource from The Foundation Center that promotes transparency in philanthropic foundations. The site gives the public access to the published finnancial records of major foundations, providing profiles of major organizations and links to their transparency profiles.

Program-Related Investment Rules for Private Foundations

This free course, which covers the basic legal rules for program-related investments, takes about forty-five minutes to complete. The course is part of Learn Foundation Law,  a free resource devloped by legal staff at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that provides training on legal issues in grantmaking for private foundations.

AccountabilityCentral.com

Launched in 2006, Accountability Central aims to serve as a clearinghouse for news, intelligence, insight, perspective, opinion, and advice on issues concerning corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, shareholder activism, and socially responsible investing and related issues.

BWB Solutions

BWB Solutions is a consulting firm that helps foundations and corporations make social investments and program-related investments in the form of loans, equity investments and recoverable grants to nonprofits or businesses committed to social change. The website contains a number of publications on these themes.

Business Ethics

Founded in 1987, Business Ethics magazine is the only U.S.-based business magazine focused on ethics and corporate social responsibility. Published exclusively online since 2006, it is read by leaders in business, investing, academia, government and civil society organizations interested in corporate social responsibility issues.

Calvert Foundation: Community Investment Profiles

Investing in a professionally managed portfolio of loans to more than 240 nonprofits and social enterprises working in over 100 countries to alleviate poverty, the Calvert Foundation provides a searchable database of these different organizations. These investments are clustered in four principle impact sectors: housing, microlending, small business, and community development. The site also provides a tool for individuals to calculate the impact their investment will have based on the amount, duration, and sector of the investment.

Center for Responsible Business

Founded in 2003 and housed at the Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center for Responsible Business strives to be a leader in corporate social responsibility research, both in the academic and practitioner arenas. This site contains a series of working papers on stakeholder engagement, with a focus on developing quantitative measures.

Ethical Markets

Ethical Markets is an independent media company that strives to promote a global economy that is sustainable and just.  Providing a perspective on the Green Transition, Reforming Global Finance, SRI and more, Ethical Markets provides a useful research resource for information relating to this global shift.

FSG Social Impact Advisors

Founded in 1999 by Michael Porter to be a for-profit consulting firm, FSG Social Impact Advisors became a nonprofit organization in 2006. The group aims to change the practice of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility both through client-based consulting work as well as through field-spanning conferences and reports, a number of which are available for free download from its website.

Future of Philanthropy

This website contains a number of reports on trends in the field, including different means of leveraging more effectively, such as through the use of social investment tools like PRIs.

Green Money Journal

Founded in 1993, this journal covers a broad range of issues in the socially responsible investing and corporate social responsibility world. Back issues of magazine articles since 1999 are available on line.

Hazel Henderson

Based in St. Augustine, Florida, Dr. Hazel Henderson is a syndicated columnist, producer of the television series, Ethical Marketplace (broadcast on PBS, see: www.ethicalmarkets.com), and a consultant on sustainable development. The website includes a wide range of her writings on socially responsible investment and related issues.

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Since 1976, NCRP has advocated for the philanthropic community to work toward social and economic justice for disadvantaged and disenfranchised populations and communities. The website contains a number of publications on these issues.

Neighborhood Funders Group

The Neighborhood Funders Group is a national network of foundations and philanthropic groups that support community-based efforts that improve economic and social conditions in low-income communities. NFG maintains a number of working groups, including the PRI Makers Network.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

This chapter on program-related investments, from a much longer anthology, provides a thoughtful overview of the nature of PRIs and how the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in particular has used them to finance the construction of community health facilities.

Social Funds.com

SocialFunds.com features over 10,000 pages of information on SRI mutual funds, community investments, corporate research, shareowner actions, and daily social investment news.

Social Funds.com

SocialFunds.com features over 10,000 pages of information on SRI mutual funds, community investments, corporate research, shareowner actions, and daily social investment news.

Studies of Socially Responsible investing

Assembled by Lloyd Kurtz, a professional portfolio advisor and a Research Fellow at the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business of the University of California, Berkeley, this site contains links to a group of studies that compare the financial performance of socially screened funds against comparable conventional investment funds.

Studies of Socially Responsible investing

Assembled by Lloyd Kurtz, a professional portfolio advisor and a Research Fellow at the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business of the University of California, Berkeley, this site contains links to a group of studies that compare the financial performance of socially screened funds against comparable conventional investment funds.

Hazel Henderson

Based in St. Augustine, Florida, Dr. Hazel Henderson is a syndicated columnist, producer of the television series, Ethical Marketplace (broadcast on PBS, see: www.ethicalmarkets.com), and a consultant on sustainable development. The website includes a wide range of her writings on socially responsible investment and related issues.

Green Money Journal

Founded in 1993, this journal covers a broad range of issues in the socially responsible investing and corporate social responsibility world. Back issues of magazine articles since 1999 are available on line.

FSG Social Impact Advisors

Founded in 1999 by Michael Porter to be a for-profit consulting firm, FSG Social Impact Advisors became a nonprofit organization in 2006. The group aims to change the practice of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility both through client-based consulting work as well as through field-spanning conferences and reports, a number of which are available for free download from its website.

Ethical Markets

Ethical Markets is an independent media company that strives to promote a global economy that is sustainable and just.  Providing a perspective on the Green Transition, Reforming Global Finance, SRI and more, Ethical Markets provides a useful research resource for information relating to this global shift.

Center for Responsible Business

Founded in 2003 and housed at the Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center for Responsible Business strives to be a leader in corporate social responsibility research, both in the academic and practitioner arenas. This site contains a series of working papers on stakeholder engagement, with a focus on developing quantitative measures.

Calvert Foundation: Community Investment Profiles

Investing in a professionally managed portfolio of loans to more than 240 nonprofits and social enterprises working in over 100 countries to alleviate poverty, the Calvert Foundation provides a searchable database of these different organizations. These investments are clustered in four principle impact sectors: housing, microlending, small business, and community development. The site also provides a tool for individuals to calculate the impact their investment will have based on the amount, duration, and sector of the investment.

Business Ethics

Founded in 1987, Business Ethics magazine is the only U.S.-based business magazine focused on ethics and corporate social responsibility. Published exclusively online since 2006, it is read by leaders in business, investing, academia, government and civil society organizations interested in corporate social responsibility issues.

AccountabilityCentral.com

Launched in 2006, Accountability Central aims to serve as a clearinghouse for news, intelligence, insight, perspective, opinion, and advice on issues concerning corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, shareholder activism, and socially responsible investing and related issues.

Impact Investing

Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the goal of generating positive, measurable social or environmental outcomes alongside a financial return. The term “impact investing” is of relatively recent origin, only becoming popularized in 2007.  The practice of investing for social—and not merely economic—return, of course, has a much longer history. This community wealth building strategy includes two key approaches: Read more about Impact Investing...

Economically Targeted Investments by U.S. Pension Funds

Tom Woelfel
Pacific Community Ventures

Tom Woelfel writes for Pacific Community Ventures on Ecomically Targeted Investments.

U.S.-based public and private pension funds have been making Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs)—investments that generate societal benefits in addition to the investment return—since the 1960s. Over this time, pension funds have sought risk-adjusted returns for their plan’s participants and beneficiaries through investments in worker-friendly affordable housing, in-state businesses, infrastructure, and other projects. The practice of pension funds making ETIs has continued amidst challenges, such as the politicization of some ETIs in the 1980s and 1990s and economic downturns that significantly impacted the U.S. economy. More recently, new types of investments such as those that incorporate environmental social governance (ESG) factors and impact investments have emerged for consideration by pension funds, and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals are being utilized by some as a guide to investment. 

Read more about it at Pacific Community Ventures... 

Impact Investing

A Checkup on PRIs

Margaret Laws

For one leading health funder, program-related investments promise to help underserved populations.

Making Big Bets for Social Change

William Foster, Gail Perreault, Alison Powell and Chris Addy

Why does such a large gap exist between what donors say they would like to achieve with their philanthropy and where they actually make their biggest bets? And how can we close it?

Community Foundations Pursue Impact Investments to Build Local Economies

Catherine Covington
The Chronicle of Philanthropy

In this issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, our Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly was featured for her work on equitable, sustainable community development and innovations in the community wealth building field.

When Can Impact Investing Create Real Impact?

Paul Brest and Kelly Born

Although it is possible for impact investors to achieve social impact along with market rate returns, it’s not easy to do and doesn’t happen nearly as often as many boosters would have you believe. 

Q&A Roundtable on Impact Investing

Johanna Mair and Katherine Milligan
Stanford Social Innovation Review

Collective Impact

John Kania and Mark Kramer
Stanford Social Innovation Review, pages 36-41

Q&A Roundtable on Shared Value

John Kania and Mark Kramer
Stanford Social Innovation Review

Catalytic Philanthropy

Mark R. Kramer
Stanford Social Innovation Review, pages 30-35

Shining a Light

Lisa Woll
Environmental Finance, page 25

Closing Plenary

Douglas F. Kridler
PRI Makers Network Conference

The Equity Capital Gap

Clara Miller
Stanford Social Innovation Review, pages 41-45

Does Corporate Governance Matter to Investment Returns?

Jay W. Eisenhofer and Gregg S. Levin
Corporate Accountability Report, volume 3, number 7

A halo for angel investors

Steven D. Carden and Olive Darragh
The McKinsey Quarterly, number 1

Philanthropic Field

Jeffrey Fraser
H Magazine, volume 4, number 4, pages 20-27

Corporate Social and Financial Performance: A Meta-analysis

Marc Orlitzky, Frank L. Schmidt and Sara L. Rynes
Organization Studies, volume 24, number 3, pages 403-441

Is Distinguished Philanthropy Still Possible?

Edward Skloot
Keynote address to the Annual Conference of the Minnesota Council on Foundations

Social Investment by Union-Based Pension Funds and Labour-Sponsored Investment Funds in Canada

Jack Quarter, Isla Carmichael, Jorge Sousa and Susan Elgie
Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, volume 56, number 1, pages 92-115

The New Barnraising

Gareth Potts
German Marshall Fund of the United States

This new toolkit from the German Marshall Fund offers policies and practices to empower communities to preserve civic assets such as public parks, libraries, and recreation centers in the face of public and private resource constraints. Based on research conducted in Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Baltimore, the guide offers a range of strategies to raise money, awareness, and community involvement for the preservation of community assets.

The Power of Impact Investing

Margot Brandenburg and Judith Rodin
Wharton Digital Press

In this new book, Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin and Nathans Cummings Fellow Margot Brandenburg make the case for impact investing as an alternative to traditional investing and philanthropy. Intended as a primer for retail investors, high-net-worth individuals, foundations, and others wishing to broaden the social and environmental impact of their investments, the book highlights opportunities to invest for social good around the world.  

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016

Lucy Bernholz

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016 is an annual industry forecast about the ways we use private resources for public benefit. Each year, the Blueprint provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year. 

Network Evaluation in Practice: Approaches and Applications

Madeleine Taylor Ph.D., Anne Whatley M.S. and Julia Coffman M.S.
This article describes the evaluation framework and its three pillars of network assessment: network connectivity, network health, and network results. 

HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: A Framework for Meeting CRA Obligations

Elizabeth Sobel Blum

“There is a symbiotic relationship between the health and resilience of a country’s economy, and the health and resilience of a country’s people,” notes Richard Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, in his introductory remarks. In this paper, Dallas Fed economist Elizabeth Sobel-Blum aims to provide guidance to financial institutions seeking to comply with Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations—as well as their customers, partners and target communities—regarding ways to leverage neighborhood assets to build community wealth and reduce health disparities. 

Social Impact Bonds: A promising tool for bringing private dollars to programs that create opportunity for low-income families

John Griffith and Victoria Shire

This issue brief takes a close look at two SIB initiatives currently in the development phase, each with Enterprise’s support. One initiative aims to reduce chronic homelessness in Denver, while the other aims to reduce the number of days homeless children stay in foster care in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The brief also looks at federal policy initiatives underway to promote SIBs and similar “pay-for-success” initiatives, including bipartisan legislation that would create a new fund at the Department of the Treasury to support SIB contracts. 

Risk, Return and Impact: Understanding Diversification and Performance Within an Impact Investing Portfolio

Jed Emerson

This brief offers impact investors a review of key considerations concerning risk, return and impact when constructing an impact portfolio. Various types of risk are identified along with a review of the “New Efficient Frontier” and the types of impact investing options that may be arrayed across a range of financial, social and environmental returns. 

Pensions & the Companies They Own: Fiduciary Duties in a Changing Social Environment

Peter D. Kinder (President, KLD Research & Analytics, Inc.)
Symposium on Business & the Broader Culture: Corporate Retirement Security: Social & Ethical Issues

Taking Corporate Responsibility Seriously? Trends…Pressure…and Moving Forward

Sandra Waddock
paper presented in Rome, Italy: 4th International Seminar on Corporate Citizenship (Taking CSR Seriously)

Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing

The Surdna Foundation

Earlier this year, the Surdna Foundation announced the creation of a $100 million impact investment fund (roughly 10 percent of their portfolio) in order to align their investment practices with their grant making activities. This new guide distills the lessons learned in establishing the fund, including their research on the spectrum of mission investment tools available to philanthropy, detailed information on their internal processes and timeline, and discussion of key milestones and challenges.

Impact investing and employee ownership: Making employee-owned enterprises part of the income inequality solution

Mary Ann Beyster

With income inequality in the United States at record high levels, employee ownership is increasingly being lauded as a potential solution to spreading wealth more broadly. Most recently, research from the National Center for Employee Ownership released in May shows that employee owners have a household net worth that is 92 percent higher than non-employee owners. They also make 33 percent higher wages, and are far less likely to be laid off. 

But employee ownership requires new investment in order to get to scale. A new report by Mary Ann Beyster, president and trustee of the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), published by the Fifty by Fifty initiative of The Democracy Collaborative, examines the investing landscape for potential opportunities in employee ownership. The report, Impact Investing and Employee Ownership, reports on the results from six months of research showing that the opportunities for impact investors to support employee ownership are limited, but that an investing infrastructure is beginning to emerge across asset classes. 

Measuring the "Impact" in Impact Investing

Ivy So and Alina Staskevicius

The aim of this study was to deepen the understanding of the specific practices and methodologies that established impact investors are using to measure the social impact generated by their investments, and to analyze the conditions under which each measurement method is most relevant. The intended audience for our analysis is impact investors themselves, as well as social sector organizations, traditional funders, and evaluators. 

Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends

The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment released its tenth biannual report on what it labels the “sustainable, responsible and impact investing sector.” The report identified place-based investing, largely by public funds directing investment into their city or state, “as a new trend, accounting for nearly $90 billion in assets.” Additionally, the use of environmental, social and governance criteria by institutional investors, once a small market niche, now covers over $4 trillion in market assets, representing a four-fold increase from 2012 to 2014 alone.

Enterprise Financing for WealthWorks Value Chains

Marjorie Kelly

This new report, authored by Democracy Collaborative Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly, offers a comprehensive framework of community investing, ownership, and wealth control models to enhance the social, ecological, and economic well-being of rural areas.

Collective Impact for Opportunity Youth

Mimi Corcoran, Fay Hanleybrown, Adria Steinberg and Kate Tallant

Place-Based Initiatives

Laura Choi, et al.
Community Investments, volume 22, number 1

Matching Program Strategy and PRI Cost

Frances Brody, John Weiser, Scott Miller and edited by Phyllis Joffe

Program-Related Investment Rules for Private Foundations

This free course, which covers the basic legal rules for program-related investments, takes about forty-five minutes to complete. The course is part of Learn Foundation Law,  a free resource devloped by legal staff at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that provides training on legal issues in grantmaking for private foundations.