Since 2007 when the term “Impact Investing” was coined, the concept has risen in visibility and – fueled by the coming of age of the Millennial Generation, the retirement of the Baby Boomers, and rising awareness of global social and environmental challenges — has experienced an increase in interest, capital and innovation aimed at achieving both financial returns and social impact.
In response to the demand for more socially responsible investment opportunities, the market has offered up an alphabet soup of impact products, services and offerings (ESG, CSR, SRI, DBL, TBL, etc.), each meaning something different depending on the user. But lacking a shared lexicon, and often the systemic thinking that is necessary to marry growth and profits with impact, many of these offerings leave investors frustrated.
Further, many investors, particularly in the institutional space, still believe that a focus on impact necessitates the sacrificing of financial returns. U2 frontman Bono described this sentiment recently when he quipped to Aaron Ross Sorkin, of the New York Times, that impact investing is simply, “a lot of bad deals done by good people.”
We have gotten into our predicament today because of a way of thinking that focuses on parts and neglects the whole. We have become masterful at focusing on immediate goals–such as short-term profits–and neglecting the larger systems of which quarterly profits are but one small part….
Interested in learning more about North America? Other readers at Giving Compass found the following articles helpful for impact giving related to North America.
Looking for a way to get involved?
Learning with others and benchmarking are key steps towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Impact Investing, take a look at these events, galas, conferences and volunteering opportunities to connect with individuals like you.
Are you ready to give?
If you are ready to take action and invest in causes for Impact Investing, check out these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects related to Impact Investing.