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MaRS Centre for Impact Investing launches new Knowledge Hub

The Knowledge Hub is the most comprehensive, useful tool in Canadian social finance today. And it’s only going to get better.

First things first, I want to say that I’m new here – there will be more on that to come. I’ve been onboard as the new Managing Editor at SocialFinance.ca & the Communications Associate at MaRS Centre for Impact Investing for a couple of weeks. So far I’ve gotten a bang-up orientation with my fellow newbies, I’ve shared meetings and handshakes with a plethora of sharp, insightful, well-dressed folks and I’ve had the chance to have some very serious discussions over bowling at our staff retreat. Besides these things, I find myself stalking the halls and scrolling through the online resources with new, wide eyes.  It is on that note that I’m here posting today about MaRS CII’s online Knowledge Hub.

While the idea of the guy who doesn’t even have an ID yet sharing about the Knowledge Hub might seem initially counterintuitive, it is actually a perfect opportunity. Over the past six years I’ve spent countless hours working with nonprofits, charities, and young innovators at home and abroad. One of the biggest obstacles I encountered during that time was a lack of resources. Yes, we often lacked finances. But just as crucial was access to relevant, robust information and accurate, insightful impact measurement tools. Whether it was the early days of the Obama ’08 presidential campaign or my last days working at a vibrant, ambitious community enterprise in Toronto’s east end, that crucial need never changed.

Enter the Centre for Impact Investing’s mind-meltingly utilitarian Knowledge Hub. Within minutes of combing through it – which quickly became hours due to the sheer depth and breadth of scope – I found myself exclaiming repeatedly that this tool was exactly the sort of thing I’d been looking for all this time.

Here at the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, we want to empower communities, individuals and enterprises across Canada that are champing at the bit to do social good. There are so many initiatives and events taking place in the impact investing space every day, and because we know there is so much to learn, we want that process of empowerment to be mutual. That’s why we’re pleased to announce the launch of our robust, utilitarian and ever-expanding Knowledge Hub, an organic, contribution-led resource base on impact investing.

The Knowledge Hub is equipped with an expanding set of starting points for various users which allow for specialized, directed searches and relevant returns. Let’s say, for example, that a user needs to convince other investment board members at her foundation that Social Impact bonds are worth their consideration. We’ve got webinars, papers from thought leaders in the field and even shareable presentations that can be easily repurposed for her needs. The same goes for folks who develop public policy, who are asset managers, or work in nonprofit. As our Knowledge Hub grows, we’ll also have starting points which touch on the agricultural and fisheries sector, affordable housing and mission investing for foundations.
Click-here-to-access-the-Knowledge-Hub-Sector-Map
Our sector map  – which can be enhanced and updated by users – enables people to connect to organizations, initiatives and individuals within the nation-wide impact investing sector. It also allows for these programs and initiatives to share their stories with the country. Our resources section includes an ever-expanding wealth of articles, videos, websites and reports. We’ve also got a robust national directory of impact-oriented funding sources, an excellent collection of tools and information around social impact measurement and, of course, a guide to social finance for those needing a primer.

Essentially, this Knowledge Hub  is the most robust, comprehensive, useful tool out there for those interested in Canadian social finance. Even more impressive than this is the fact that it’s only going to get better. Check it out today.


Editor’s Note: This piece was originally posted on the MaRS blog. It has been posted here with the author’s permission.

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