The tidal wave of attention to impact investing over the past decade has been dominated by a growing “finance first” approach which measures success by achieving market-rate returns alongside desired social or environmental change. This approach has gone mainstream and now includes institutional investors among its advocates. But there’s a lesser-known type of impact investing that puts impact first and accepts less than market-rate of returns. “Impact-first” impact investing extends a financial lifeline to enterprises unattractive to conventional investors. It measures success by social and environmental benefit, not financial return. As such, impact-first enterprises reimagine how capital is deployed in service of social good.
Among all investors, wealthy individuals and families are uniquely positioned to champion impact-first investing. In particular, as part of a broader portfolio (including philanthropy and market-rate investing) this type of impact-first investing can is well-suited for those who care about solving the world’s largest challenges like climate change, food insecurity, and racial injustice.
Our research addresses the barriers that have historically limited impact-first investing, lifts up inspiring examples of leading impact-first investors, and lays out the three step journey these pioneers have taken to lead on impact-first investing: 1) clarifying a commitment to impact and 2) relying on trusted collaborators set the stage for 3) choosing the investment options that meet your needs.
Moderated by Bridgespan Partner, Michael Etzel.
Tuesday, May 11
1:00 PM ET