About Impact Investing

FavoriteThis website features a Q&A on what impact investing is and how it’s used as a tool to support our communities. It’s important to remember that the Impact Investing field — along with its terminology and uses — is constantly adapting and redefining itself as practitioners learn by doing. Mission Investors Exchange, the leading network for foundations committed to impact investing, will continually revisit this page as we incorporate the perspectives of our members and evolve with the field.

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Capital Scan: Climate Resilient & Equitable Water Systems

Favorite This Climate Resilient & Equitable Water Systems Capital Scan was commissioned by The Kresge Foundation and authored by MissionPoint Partners and California Environmental Associates. It is designed to illuminate integrated strategies with pathways for using a full suite of capital tools — including program related investments (PRIs) and mission related investments (MRIs) – to  accelerate the implementation of innovative solutions to unlock the flow of capital in the water sector. The goal is support of Kresge’s Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS) work – advancing a water equity agenda that supports solutions to address climate-related impacts on water systems, enhance climate planning Read more

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Effective and Emerging Approaches to Mission-Related Investing

FavoriteThis white paper defines mission investing strategies, including: socially responsible investing (SRI); environmental, social, and governance (ESG); mission-related investing (MRI); and impact investing. Readers will also learn more about a nine-point impact investing roadmap with questions to help develop your foundation’s investment strategy.

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Moving Beyond Job Creation: Defining and Measuring the Creation of Quality Jobs

FavoriteThis report discusses how through a better understanding of what defines a quality job and a set of practical methods for measuring the quality of jobs created, we believe Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and others in the impact investing community will be better positioned to make more effective investments that support good jobs for workers, businesses, and communities.      

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Invest Northwest: Ten-Year Final Performance Review

FavoriteThe experience of developing, launching, managing, and evaluating Invest Northwest has provided important lessons for the Northwest Area Foundation’s and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s mission investing programs. These lessons are also relevant to impact investors and place-based investors. With the fund coming to a close, this report documents these lessons and reflections, as well as the history of Invest Northwest, the fund’s financial performance, and its strong social performance.

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Community Investment: Focusing on the System

FavoriteThis working paper reviews initial work on community investment (CI) as system. CI is defined here as investments intended to achieve social and environmental benefits in underserved communities Our goal in writing it is threefold: • To encourage people to think about the system for organizing CI demand, • To suggest ways to make the system visible and tractable in a given place, and • To offer some suggestions based on current and past efforts on how to make the CI system more robust.

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Activating the Power of Place: A Case Study of Market Creek

FavoriteThis article tells the story of a placed-based initiative to develop well-being and wealth in the historically underserved Diamond Neighborhood in San Diego, and discusses the place-based philosophy of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and the foundation’s motivation for place-based work.

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Transitions: an opportunity like no other

FavoriteFollowing the January 2011 revolt in Tunisia against the regime of President Ben Ali, the country’s transition leaders adopted an open-door approach to foreign aid. An avalanche of mostly uncoordinated aid followed. Donors – private and bilateral – arrived asking questions like, ‘Who is your Mandela?’ They produced an event overload, sponsoring dozens of conferences and hotel-room trainings on identical topics. Funding opportunities and partnerships were concentrated in the capital, Tunis, and in few other parts of the country. Grant applications were often English-only. Talent was drained from local organizations to produce repetitive mappings of civil society for external donors Read more

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The Education Collaboration Fund: Possibilities and Limitations of Pooled Funds

Favorite This article will describe the possibilities and the limitations of pooled funds as tools for increasing the impact of major donors and family foundations by providing a detailed case study of the ECF’s path from idea to execution.

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Voices From the Field III: Lessons and Challenges for Foundations Based on Two Decades of Community-Change Efforts

FavoriteTo date, there is little evidence that CCIs have been able to achieve population-level change in key outcomes; however, they have built community capacity. Building upon a previously published volume on Comprehensive Community Initiatives, this article focuses upon the implications for foundations of what has been learned about CCIs.

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The Challenges of Place, Capacity, and Systems Change: The Story of Yes we can!

FavoriteThis paper describes the work done to promote resident engagement in distressed neighborhoods in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan. Through a CCI known as Yes we can!, several strategies specifically designed to promote more engaged and powerful residents, were implemented. This paper describes what was learned about how issues of place, organizing strategy, and who you actually engage in the work can significantly influence the overall success of resident engagement efforts.

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