Impact Investing

Using Evidence to Scale What Works: 2015 State of the SIF report

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The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) selects grantees through open competitions that have expertise in helping nonprofits expand capacity and build a track record of strong evidence and impact. With its emphasis on evaluation and results, the SIF seeks to grow the impact of successful programs to accelerate broad-scale change. This 109-page report presents an overview of its portfolio.

Scaling U.S. Community Investing: The Investor-Product Interface

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The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), in partnership with the Carsey School of Public Policy, published Scaling U.S. Community Investing: The Investor-Product Interface, an in-depth landscape study of the U.S. Community Investing (USCI) field. The full report includes a detailed analysis of the major types of USCI products, parameters that different investors use to evaluate investment opportunities, and the barriers and opportunities to increasing investment. Scaling U.S. Community Investing explores the gaps in the investor-product interface to identify opportunities to encourage greater capital flows into the market and, hence, drive scale. The report highlights a need for better alignment of risk and return expectations, investment term, and liquidity between investors and investees, and identifies two priority recommendations for achieving scale. The study was produced with support from the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.

Essentials of Impact Investing: A Guide for Small-Staffed Foundations

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Seeking to increase their philanthropic impact, many engaged foundations are turning to impact investing. The reason is clear: The field and practice of impact investing have matured — structures are in place, best practices have emerged, and opportunities have multiplied — enabling more foundations to use this powerful tool. Yet entering unfamiliar terrain can be intimidating, and foundations with few or no staff face unique challenges even as they enjoy unique opportunities. Arabella Advisors, Exponent Philanthropy and Mission Investors Exchange address those challenges in this guide, including a program-related investment example from The O.P. & W.E. Edwards Foundation.

Pay for Success Learning Hub

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Pay for Success deals, sometimes called social impact bonds, are an emerging private-public approach to funding social services: foundations and impact investors pay for preventative programs aimed at saving taxpayer money in the long term, to be repaid by the government if the programs succeed. Visit Nonprofit Finance Fund's Pay for Success Learning Hub for a U.S. activity map, resources and tools.

Mission Investment Database

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The Mission Investment Database is a record of more than $1 billion of impact investments made by U.S. foundations and other philanthropic asset holders since 2010, collected by Mission Investors Exchange. The below-market and market rate investments are categorized by asset class: real asset, deposit, guarantee, equity-like debt, public debt, public equity, private equity and private debt. They are also categorized by sector.

Impact Investing in the Energy Sector: How Federal Action Can Galvanize Private Support for Energy Innovation and Deployment

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Building on the momentum around energy financing and impact investing in D.C., get the latest thinking from Mission Investors Exchange on impact investment in the energy sector, problems associated with making these investments and the resources needed in conjunction with the federal government.