Field Notes: Impact Investing News

Today we’re tuning in to what’s new in the ever-evolving landscape of impact investing.

RSF Social Finance’s Don Shaffer says the push toward whole portfolio activation for 100 percent impact is “where the action is in impact investing”:

Most people investing for impact have only a portion of their money in impact investments; 100 percent impact investors are working toward going all in. What’s driving them? My sense from talking with people attracted to this movement is that many people of means are having an existential crisis about climate change and other problems in which they know they’re complicit. They want to understand where their money is going and direct it to solving the problems they are passionate about. Just investing in a mutual fund that’s screening out bad things is not good enough anymore.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Judith Rodin reflects on lessons learned from impact investing, including the value of documenting failure and the vital role of enterprises:

If impact investing becomes “business as usual,” the future will be a much different place. As far as impact investing has come in seven years, there is still more to do to make it the norm, and give everyday investors access to a range of investment products. But if we do, aspirational estimates suggest that impact investments could one day represent 1 percent of professionally managed global assets, channeling up to hundreds of billions of dollars towards solutions that can address some of our biggest problems, from poor health to climate change.

The Nonprofit Finance Fund and The James Irvine Foundation announced their new initiative, The California Pay for Success Initiative, which will allow leaders to experiment with the pay-for-success approach to funding social services to both improve outcomes and ultimately reduce costs. The model is already being implemented in other states, such as Oklahoma.

Over at Social Finance, Michael Noorlander suggests tapping into private wealth as the best source of more impact investing dollars, since owners tend to be quicker and more flexible than other types of investors. Meanwhile, Anne Field on Forbes says opportunities abound, but most investors are chasing a too-small population of investment candidates ready for prime time.

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