Concepts

Many of the concepts in our field are evolving rapidly, so we want you to use this page as a forum to define and discuss them. Please feel free to get involved in the conversation.

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Impact Investing

Working Definition

All investing is impact investing. All enterprises, regardless of tax status, produce both social and financial results on a spectrum from positive to negative, including neutral. The financial and social performance of enterprises is measureable and...

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Good Job

Working Definition

Heron defines a good job as employment that ameliorates poverty; specifically, it is employment that facilitates reliable and stable access to basic goods and services, usually through wages and benefits. What constitutes a "good job" from the point ...

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Capital Investment

Working Definition

According to Investopedia, capital investments are "funds invested in a firm or enterprise for the purposes of furthering its business objectives." This could include acquisition of fixed assets such as manufacturing plants and machinery that is expe...

Social Performance

Working Definition

All enterprises have social and financial impacts on the economy. These impacts may occur through the enterprise’s treatment of employees, the nature of its products & services, its supply chain activities, and the general commitment to long-te...

Examined Portfolio

Working Definition

An "examined portfolio" is one that has been examined for its social performance (whether intended or actual, and understanding the limitations of currently available social impact data). For foundations, examining our portfolios is an extension of f...

Poverty

Working Definition

Being in poverty entails lacking reliable and adequate access to basic services, including but not limited to food, shelter, clothing and healthcare. An individual or group is often considered impoverished when they do not attain a level of economic ...

Triple Bottom Line

Working Definition

Traditionally the "bottom line" refers to a business's profits, but a "triple bottom line" enterprise operates using a three-fold measure of success: profit, people and planet. This is a broader framework to measure enterprise success. Enterprises d...

Program-Related Investments

Working Definition

Program-Related Investments, or PRIs, are a special type of investment that foundations can make. By statutory definition, foundations need to make the investment primarily for mission-oriented purposes (as opposed to generate a financial return) and...

Fiduciary Duties: Care

Working Definition

The fiduciary duty of care is the responsibility of the fiduciaries of an enterprise (that is, its directors and officers) to act in the same manner as a reasonably prudent person in their position would. This legal obligation is satisfied if they ex...

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