How can foundations and private investors work with others to better align their investment decisions with their locally focused missions and values? For many foundations, the answer lies in collaborative place-based impact investing, or using impact investing—investments made with the intent to yield financial and social or environmental returns—to commit capital locally and support communities.

  1. Leverage landscape analyses to build and strengthen collaborative relationships: Frequently, the critical first step in launching a place-based impact investing effort is conducting an analysis to map relationships, assess community needs, and identify capital gaps. Applying formal or informal capital or relationship mapping tools can present an excellent opportunity to build and strengthen key relationships within the local impact investing ecosystem.
  2. Learn by doing: Understanding the data and building relationships are important, but there’s risk in losing momentum by overdesigning a framework for collaborative work that will need to adapt in practice anyway. Numerous stakeholders found they learned the most by actually launching efforts, making deals, and applying real-time corrections and adjustments.
  3. Use committed leadership to overcome barriers to collaboration: Place-based impact investing doesn’t require radically new tools. Rather, such efforts benefit from an intentional shift in thinking about where, why, how, and with whom capital is deployed.
  4. Effective collaborations are embracing the transformative potential of impact capital to promote systemic change: Many communities see an opportunity through place-based impact investing efforts to redefine their leadership roles and how they use their capital to advance systemic changes.

Read the full article on place-based impact investing by Matthew Eldridge at Urban Institute