Impact Investing Sector Moving From ‘What?’ to ‘How?’
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Over the past several years as impact investing has captured the attention of the world’s wealthy, people started by asking “what is impact investing?” Today, the question more people are asking is “how do I do impact investing?”
The Global Impact Investing Network, co-founded by Amit Bouri who serves today as the CEO, sits near the center of this discussion. The GIIN (pronounced like jean or gene) is building a database of impact measures in hopes of creating a resources that will help standardize impact measures.
Investors of all sorts are relatively good at measuring return on investment. Many investors, myself included, check their portfolio values daily. Some monitor them throughout the day–even if they aren’t trading. Others fall back to reviewing quarterly and annual statements, but however financial returns are measured, such measures are easy to gather.
The GIIN is helping to make impact measurement just as easy. Impact investors will achieve target impacts unless they have good data with which to measure the impacts.
And let’s be clear, much of what we initially think of as impact is just activity. An investment that increases the number of books in children’s hands isn’t really an impact so much as an intermediate outcome. The impact is the changes, positive we hope, that are yielded in the lives of the children. Are they doing better in school, reading at or above grade level, graduating from high school, matriculating into college, etc.
The GIIN is working to help us measure impact in all its forms.
Bouri is bullish on the future. “Impact investing has the potential to channel significant amounts of private capital to solutions to the worlds most intransigent challenges. Last year was a banner year for impact investing and set the stage for 2016 to be a year of tremendous growth and progress.”
On Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 1:00 PM Eastern, Bouri will join me here for a live discussion about the GIIN and its work to make impact investors more effective. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about The GIIN:
The Global Impact Investing Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
Amit Bouri, courtesy of The GIIN
Amit Bouri is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of the GIIN. His work in impact investing began when he was a strategy consultant with the Monitor Institute. At Monitor he was part of the team that produced the Investing for Social & Environmental Impact report, and he left Monitor to co-found the GIIN in 2009.
Amit’s other projects at the Monitor Institute included strategic planning and organizational development work for nonprofit organizations and foundations. Amit previously worked in the private sector as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company. He left Bain to work in global health at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. He also worked in the corporate philanthropy units of Gap GPS +0.00% Inc. and Johnson & Johnson JNJ +0.98%. Amit holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, an MPA from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College. Amit serves on the Board of Directors for Investors’ Circle and SJF Institute.
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