In a time of skyrocketing deficits, uncertain financial markets, and staggering need, impact investment—the practice of investing with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return—seemingly offers a new path for meeting the many challenges facing society.
As a part of its G8 presidency in 2013, the U.K. government hosted the first G8 Social Impact Investment Forum to discuss the potential of impact investment and bring together the major players in the field from across the world.
The U.K. Cabinet Office also released a Primer (Status of the Social Impact Investing Market: A Primer) to attendees of the G8 forum. The report — authored by Dr. Maximilian Martin, with contributions by Burckart — describes the landscape of impact investing and defines the term, the megatrends influencing the market, and examines the roles different groups of investors play.
It's Time To Cut Through the Hype of Impact Investing
In a related launch op-ed for the Chronicle of Philanthropy on "It's Time to Cut Through the Hype of Impact Investing" Burckart unpacks the implications of the report for policymakers, nonprofit and foundation executives. From the piece: "That’s why nonprofits will have an increasingly important role in business innovation. Both foundations and nonprofits will need to play increasingly new and sometimes surprising roles to help enable a fully functioning ecosystem of impact investment. Government, in turn, needs to practice smarter policy making that focuses as much on developing new tools as it does on adopting policies that encourage growth of impact investing. And everyone, from the social entrepreneur to the impact investor, needs to strive for increased transparency and ways to measure social-impact investment according to common benchmarks. Impact investing is at an inflection point: For all its progress, impact investment risks becoming another satellite activity on the margins of social finance, rather than transforming mainstream capital markets and investments."
SERIES ON MAKING IMPACT INVESTIBLE
In this exclusive series for CSRwire, Martin and Burckart summarize the key findings of the report, digging deeper into the implications and recommendations for strengthening the industry. They highlight, most notably, how CSR can leverage the emerging field of impact investing to simultaneously drive social impact and business innovation.
MAKING IMPACT INVESTIBLE: CUTTING THROUGH THE HYPE OF IMPACT INVESTING BY DR. MAXIMILIAN MARTIN & WILLIAM BURCKART
We need to start cutting through the hype if we are to have any shot at unlocking the full potential of impact investment. Dr. Maximilian Martin and William Burckart introduce a new series on Talkback.
MAKING IMPACT INVESTIBLE: MEASURING THE "IMPACT" OF IMPACT INVESTMENT BY DR. MAXIMILIAN MARTIN & WILLIAM BURCKART
Part two of a new series on growing the impact investment market introduces the need for greater transparency and forms of social impact measurement that are able to achieve industry consensus. On Talkback.
MAKING IMPACT INVESTIBLE: ENABLING NEW SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSES BY DR. MAXIMILIAN MARTIN & WILLIAM BURCKART
Part three of a series on growing the impact investment market introduces how impact investment can provide access to non-traditional sources of growth and business innovation.
Making Impact Investible: Maximizing the "Investment" of Impact Investment By Dr. Maximilian Martin & William Burckart
Part four of this Talkback series on growing the impact investment market introduces the development of a full shelf of financial tools that can help maximize market potential.