Social Finance Round Up: Focus on Impact – Gateways, Scaling, and Policy produces a weekly round up featuring social finance related news, insights, job openings, and events. We source the content for these round ups from Twitter, an RSS reader, and directly from our community of social finance practitioners. Below is our round up for the week of June 18, 2012.

Recently on

Canadian and International News

  • Calvert Foundation and HOPE Consulting conducted country-wide research on the interest and readiness of financial advisors in the US to advise clients on impact investments, and combined their findings in a recently released report, Gateways to Impact. The report also addresses the reasons why financial advisors refrain from recommending impact investments, and highlights the market potential for incorporating impact investments into client portfolios. The headline finding is that the potential of impact investing is no less than $650 billion. Download report [PDF].
  • CASE and Social Impact Exchange published Scaling Social Impact: A Literature Toolkit for Funders, which aims to highlight some of the most relevant knowledge available to date for funders pursuing grantmaking strategies around scaling impact. Download report [PDF].
  • The Impact Investing Policy Collaborative was launched by the Global Impact Investing Policy Project last week, focusing on the role of public policy in impact investing through research and collaboration.
  • The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) published Diverse Perspectives, Shared Objective, a case study on the African Agricultural Capital Fund (AACF) that details how diverse stakeholders made a combined investment that accommodated each of their social and financial objectives. Download case study [PDF].
  • Oikocredit released the 2011 Social Performance Report of 500 MFIs – a 20% jump in data participation since data collection began in 2008. Download report [PDF].
  • Echoing Green has announced its 36 new Echoing Green Fellows, social entrepreneurs selected from a global six-month search. The Fellows will receive up to $90,000 in funding to launch new organizations; access to Echoing Green’s robust network; leadership development opportunities; and one-to-one support and counseling.
  • Corporate Knights released its 11th Annual report on The Best Corporate Citizens in Canada, with Desjardins Group – the biggest financial institution in Quebec and the biggest cooperative finacial group in Canada – claiming the top spot.
  • The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50), a global landscape of impact investing fund managers, is now accepting new applications. The IA 50 “offers a list of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers that deliver social and environmental value in addition to financial returns (including leaders from microfinance, community development, fair trade, and other strategies).”
  • A new report, produced by Cass Business School and UBS looks at the problems facing social enterprises, and says that impact investing suffers from a lack of liquidity and uncertaintyDownload report: “Is Social Investment working?” [PDF].
  • The recently held Clinton Global Initiative America meeting featured a plenary session on “Sustainable Finance”. Watch the webcast here.
  • IHDP is proud to announce the launch of its Inclusive Wealth Report 2012, a joint initiative of UNU-IHDP and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the Natural Capital Project. The report presents a new economic index, which looks beyond the traditional short term economic and development yardsticks of gross domestic product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI). The Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 index measures the wealth of nations by carrying out a comprehensive analysis of a country’s productive base and its capital assets, including manufactured, human,and natural capital. Download report [PDF].
  • The Social Investment Business announced two new rounds of social sector funding – £19m for health social enterprise through the social enterprise investment fund (SEIF), and £2.5m for community organisations through the Communitybuilders Fund.

Social Finance Learning and Best Practices

  • Ben Thornley wrote about the important role that government can play as well in an excellent post on the Huffington Post.
  • On May 15, McKinsey on Society conducted a webinar on social impact bonds. Recently they released the Q&A on their website, answering questions about applicability, the role of intermediaries, and more.
  • According to a new survey from GlobeScan and Canadian Business for Social Reponsibility, 79% of Canadians polled are very interested in what organizations do to be socially responsible, but Canadians are also very skeptical of social responsibility claims. To this point, 81% of Canadians think companies use CSR to improve their brand image, not to contribute to society. Kate Martin has more in her blog post.
  • Peer-to-peer lending: Model takes off worldwide.
  • Health Impact Bonds to Replace Health Care Services?
  • In the second part of a series of blogs, Harry Hoare looks at the risks involved when preventative programmes are implemented.
  • Without attention to values, ESG is just a style, and like in the fashion world, styles come and go. Jay Youngdahl says that if we’re not careful, responsible investing could become just another ‘flavor’ of investing.
  • Ben Powell of Agora Partners writes about ‘the missing middle of the missing middle‘, expressing a concern that debates on impact investing are not focused enough on systems change.
  • OPIC explains the concept of Impact Investing, and why it offers the potential for such strong financial returns.
  • Thomas Kostigen praises Morgan Stanley’s new Investing with Impact Platform for increasing accessibility to impact investing.
  • Sarah Brooks talks about design principles for resilience that were developed at SOCAP: Designing the Future. Here is the list of dozen design principles for resilience.
  • An In Depth Look at the Accelerating Community Capital Workshop by Mark Maynard.



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