Impact Investing

//Impact Investing

This crowdfunding campaign lets you give capital to companies changing the world

The nonprofit impact investing fund Acumen just launched its first crowdfunding campaign. Dubbed #OneGreatIdea, the effort seeks to collectively raise at least $100,000 from Giving Tuesday donors who are interested in building companies that generate both social and financial returns. Tagline: “Fund the next great idea that will change the world.” Unlike traditional philanthropy, where donors may give

Unlocking Endowments: Foundations Are Stepping Up Impact Investing

Ten years after the Rockefeller Foundation coined the term “impact investing,” it has become a $250 billion market and an expanding global movement. Today, foundations across the U.S. and globally are increasingly looking to use their endowments to achieve social or environmental goals. The 82-year-old Ford Foundation in New York City and the 32-year-old Sasakawa Peace Foundation

Why Venture Capital Is The Original Impact Investing

Impact investing is all the rage, with investors big and small eager to get in on the action. Last year, around $35.5 billion went into impact deals, according to the Global Impact Investing Network, a figure that was predicted to increase by 8% in 2018. One can’t argue with the positive sentiment behind encouraging more investment

ESG gets into gear: who’s winning the race to the fore?

Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), has recently heard ‘very large fund managers’ call ESG the ‘fad of the moment’. Given the level of airtime currently being enjoyed by ESG backers you’d be forgiven for thinking it has become a success overnight, but in fact its rise to prominence has

Green Bonds Benefit Companies, Investors, and the Planet

The past five years have seen explosive growth in “corporate green bonds” issued to finance climate-friendly projects. While investors bought just $3 billion of these bonds in 2013, they scooped up $49 billion worth in 2017, bringing the total sold since 2013 to $113 billion at an average of $308 million per offering. A wide

Why I don’t believe in the SDGs (and how impact investing is changing my mind)

I’ve never been overly convinced of the value of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Where the previous iteration, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provided a focused rallying cry for the international development community, I have viewed the SDGs as attempting to be everything to everyone, and lacking the punch to catalyse serious intention.

What You Need to Know About Values Investing

Socially conscious investing has gone mainstream. Many people now factor environmental, social and corporate governance criteria—the triumvirate that define so-called sustainable investing—into their portfolio decisions. And they’re not all millennial tree huggers. Schroders, a worldwide investment firm, reports that over the past five years, 70% of U.S. investors have increased their allocation to ESG investments.

Social Responsibility No Longer a ‘Niche’

As most advisors know, U.S. sustainable investing has grown dramatically, up 38% since 2016 in the U.S. to make up 26% of the $46.6 trillion in U.S. assets under management, according to the  U.S. Sustainable Investment Foundation’s 2018 report on Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends. Since 1995, when US SIF first started keeping tabs,

Think Small: The Giving Tuesday Strategy With Unexpected Impact

A well-timed donation to a smaller organization, is likely to have a greater influence on the nonprofit’s trajectory. A common misconception about philanthropy is that only big donations can unlock significant impact. That’s simply not true, especially as more and more startup nonprofits emerge. As Giving Tuesday draws near, I’m reminded of the power of small

Don’t Just Vote For Change, Invest For Change

You voted. You may have knocked on doors, wrote postcards, made phone calls and donated money. You were committed to making a difference in your district or your state. Here’s another area where you can make a difference: your investment accounts. Your investments can be a powerful way to support the issues that matter to

Profiting from responsible investment

In his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom, Nobel laureate and economist Milton Friedman dismissed corporate social responsibility as a fundamentally subversive doctrine. “There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits,” he wrote. Back then, it was accepted wisdom that all

Why it’s now easy being green in the bond world

I've written before about recent developments in fixed income sustainable investing, such as the increasing availability of ESG-focused bond indexes. Today I want to talk about a lesser known segment of the sustainable market: green bonds.  And once again I wanted to invite in one of BlackRock's experts to help me explain the topic.  Please join me

The Blue Economy: How Impact Investing Can Help It Grow

The world’s oceans provide food security to 3 billion people who rely on fish as their primary source of protein. However, their livelihoods are under threat as 90% of the global fisheries are being fished at above their maximum sustainable levels. Asia will face the maximum adverse impact of that overfishing, as it accounts for

Impact investing and the arts: What have we learned?

The Arts Impact Fund is the world’s first impact investment fund specifically for the arts and cultural sector. Nesta’s Francesca Sanderson, who has been involved since it was designed over four years ago, shares what’s been learned and how investing in this field is evolving It’s been nearly three years since the Arts Impact Fund approved

Impact investing: A multitrillion-dollar market in the making

Impact investing has been gaining traction over the last decade, as investors, consumers, and—to an extent—policymakers come to recognise that new ideas are needed in order to address some of the largest societal and environmental challenges facing humankind. However, as is often the case with new ideas, impact investing continues to face big challenges and

Impact investing versus ESG investing – aren’t they the same thing?

Most Asian investors still have difficulty telling the difference between so-called "impact investing" and "environmental, social and governance" (ESG) related issues. In many cases, these two terms are used interchangeably, usually incorrectly. There are various definitions of "impact investing" - put simply, it focuses on investing in companies with products and services that can generate

American Workers Want Business to Invest in Their Communities

Four out of five American workers in a new survey say companies should be involved in community revitalization efforts and actively invest in the localities where they operate, Prudential Financial reported Monday. Surveyed workers’ consumption habits support this sentiment. Eighty-three percent said they would prefer to buy products or services from a business that creates a positive

Does Impact Investing Have A Data Problem?

Interest in investing in environmentally and socially responsible companies has surged in recent years, in part because of the tastes of purpose-minded millennials—but also because there’s mounting evidence that these companies are, in fact, better investments. That’s good news for the planet, but a more sustainability-minded financial system is hardly a given. A panel of

Mainstreaming Sustainability: What Banks And Business Schools Should Do Next

Assets globally that are invested in accordance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, or sustainable investments, have been growing 17% per year and now stand at $23 trillion according to McKinsey. The growth of US ESG assets in particular is up over 200% from the past decade according to JPMorgan. As institutional investor demand for ESG products mounts

Impact investment fund backed by Gates Foundation making its mark on the developing world

Dr Curt LaBelle (pictured) is Managing Partner at GHIF and has over 16 years’ investment experience in the healthcare space. He says that the fund’s impact is defined by “lives saved and lives improved in the developing world”. “That also applies to the developed world but the impact measurement is focused on how we’re making