Impact Investment Starts With Understanding Impact

One of the recent corporate trends has been a growing concern for the social impact of companies' investments. Rather than looking at investments as simply a way to make a profit, both traditional and nonprofit companies are looking for ways to invest that entail a good rate of return on solving social problems as well. The number one question, however, is how to quantify the real social impact of the investments.

Three concepts can be used to help determine this measurement. The first is being consistent across the company regarding the data collected and the metrics used. Second, rather than narrowly focusing on just a few metrics, identify a few general domains of impact, each with its own set of measures. Finally, understand that the process will take time; there are no shortcuts to developing measures unique to one's company.

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Selected Grant News Headlines

A customized collection of grant news from foundations and the federal government from around the Web.

The Latino Equity Fund Seeks to Raise $10 Million to Invest in Businesses and Organiztions
Foundation: Boston Foundation

Evelyn Barahona has been chosen to lead and grow a new philanthropic fund designed to address longstanding inequities in the Massachusetts Latino community—issues that came into sharper focus after...more

New Round of Aaron Rodgers Small-Business Grants help 79 Butte County Businesses
Foundation: North Valley Community Foundation

Through the North Valley Community Foundation’s Aaron Rodgers Small Business COVID-19 Fund, the second round of funding will pay a total of $578,000 to 79 local businesses in Butte County, as they...more

Nonprofits in Philadelphia Benefit from $1 million Supporting Black Communities initiative
Foundation: Philadelphia Foundation

The Philadelphia Foundation has created a fund designed to bolster the Black-led nonprofits that serve the region's Black communities.The Black Community Leaders Fund will build on a $1 million...more

Program Provides Emergency Grants to Santa Barbara Businesses
Foundation: Santa Barbara Foundation

A partnership of the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Santa Barbara County provides emergency business grants. The funds, which are available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban...more

The Omaha Community Foundation Launches Impact Investing Fund
Foundation: Omaha Community Foundation

The Omaha Community Foundation has launched the Community Loan Fund with the aim of accelerating positive social outcomes within our community through impact investing. The Community Loan Fund...more

Adapting Old Buildings to Climate Change Requires New Financial Tools

The startup BlocPower uses software to identify buildings that are prime candidates to receive more efficient energy systems. That might mean installing an electric heat pump or a microgrid to...more

Warren Buffett's Grandson on the Art of Opportunity Zone Social Impact Investing

Howard W. Buffett, the grandson of legendary investor and billionaire Warren Buffett, is getting into Opportunity Zones. Buffett is launching a software tool that measures an Opportunity Zone...more

Reimagining Black Wealth: Asking 400 Year Old Questions

Living Cities staff JaNay Queen Nazaire, Chief Strategy Officer, and Demetric Duckett, Managing Director, write how Living Cities is "not only doubling-down on the use of capital as a driving...more

Lessons from Facebook’s $1B Housing Crisis Investment
Foundation: Nike

Facebook is one of the most recent examples of big tech making investment to ease California's housing crisis, which has led to a homelessness epidemic in recent years. Facebook has pledged $1...more

How to Finance Social Innovation? 5 Insights from Impact! Africa

Ashoka and the British Council hosted the Impact! Africa Summit, which convened at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies around the topic "Collaborative Finance for Social Innovation." The two-day...more




Social Entrepreneurship
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Establishing a Social Enterprise Curriculum


Several British colleges and universities have embraced social entrepreneurship in their curriculum. Pathik Pathak at Southampton have introduced n interdisciplinary module in Social Enterprise, which is open to students of all year groups and across all disciplines.




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