In late January, Impact Engine hosted the Chicago Impact Investing Showcase sponsored by MacArthur Foundation. We gathered to highlight our work and the work of Benefit Chicago, a fund that invests for both financial and social return, as well as a handful of investments that demonstrate this focus on dual return.

There is a lot of variation on how to execute impact investing, all with great potential to achieve different types of impact and different levels of financial return. At our showcase, the presenting companies represented an amazing range of examples of impact investing, everything from low-interest loans through LISC to market-leading telehealth providers like Regroup.

We are also comfortable with using philanthropy as a tool for changing the status quo. We give money to nonprofits to provide services, research, and other tools that help move the needle on things we care about. Both government and philanthropy are great paths for change, but we are missing a huge opportunity.

There are 14 times more investable assets in the United States than philanthropy and government spending combined. Every investment does have impacts in the world — some positive and some negative, but most of us aren’t aware of them. If you are fortunate enough to have an investment portfolio, you most certainly have some investments that are adding some societal value like creating jobs or infrastructure. You also most certainly have some investments that are perpetuating inequity or damaging the planet. The opportunity so many of us are missing is to be informed and intentional about aligning our investment dollars toward creating the type of world we want to live in, like we do with our votes and our philanthropy.

Read the full article about impact investing from Impact Engine at Medium.