Volume 23: Making Research “Business as Usual” in Impact Investing

Policymakers, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, and impact investors frequently comment that we need evidence-based strategies to tackle social and environmental challenges effectively. The call for more thoughtful evidence-use has recently hit a crescendo in impact investing, with high-profile actors showcasing methods for incorporating secondary research into due diligence.

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Why Giving Your Money Away Won’t Change the World

There are three main reasons charity simply can’t be the main driver of progressive change, which point at one fundamental problem — we can’t expect to solve social problems with philanthropy, if the majority of our wealth is locked up in investments that harm the planet. Until all of our resources are working for social change, we’ll continue to run around in circles.

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Kickstarer Co-Founder Yancey Strickler to Keynote Generocity's Inaugural Conference

ADVANCE is the inaugural half-day conference — organized by Generocity and supported by Create X Change — dedicated to moving forward ideas, organizations and leaders that drive smarter impact. Professionals come to ADVANCE to make connections and leave with a clear call-to action on how to better serve the community. They’ll advance their careers, organizations and missions.

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Techstars' Impact Investments Outperform Their Other Ones

With 73 investments under its belt and the fund nearly fully deployed, the company recently took a look back to see how its efforts have fared. The bottom line, according to Zoe Schlag, managing director of Techstars Impact, is that its historical impact investments have outperformed the other ones. Plus the positive outcome holds for companies in a wide array of sectors, from clean energy to financial products.

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Philly Ranks 40th on 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report

America’s cities are home to more than 80 percent of Americans and around 85 percent of US production. They will determine the future of sustainable development in the United States. Around the US, more and more cities are signing up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for action.

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Volume 22: The Slow Adoption of Impact Investing; Aligning Financial and Impact Investment Risk

Impact investing has existed for a substantial amount of time, but it has not been fully embraced by the investment community and, to many, is still not considered a mainstream investment practice. While there are signs that its adoption is increasing, there are several barriers, both real and perceived, that have slowed its adoption. This paper will present some of the key reasons for impact investments’ slow adoption. It will provide background on the industry and discuss specific factors causing its slow adoption. This paper will then provide several principles aimed at furthering investors’ understanding of impact.

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Group of Top CEOs Says Maximizing Shareholder Profits No Longer Can be the Primary Goal of Corporations

A group representing the nation’s most powerful chief executives on Monday abandoned the idea that companies must maximize profits for shareholders above all else, a long-held belief that advocates said boosted the returns of capitalism but detractors blamed for rising inequality and other social ills. In a new statement about the purpose of the corporation, the Business Roundtable, which represents the chief executives of 192 large companies, said business leaders should commit to balancing the needs of shareholders with customers, employees, suppliers and local communities.

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Local Investment and Revitalization in North Philadelphia

As a new employee on the Investor Relations team at Calvert Impact Capital, I have been learning more each day about how the work we do creates measurable change in communities. Recently, I visited North Philadelphia to see firsthand how investor dollars can be put to work for local results, visiting several projects supported by our longtime borrower, Reinvestment Fund.

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See who's leading the charge in backing female-founders. And who has work to do.

What's the best way to identify the top investors in female-founded companies? To answer that question, we published a list of US-based VC firms ranked by the number of investments completed in startups with at least one female founder since 2006. But that list failed to highlight firms whose portfolios contained mostly female-founded companies.

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SunTrust Joins Wave Of Banks Exiting The Private Prison Industry

SunTrust Bank announced this morning that they are ready to join other major banks in moving away from the private prison industry, in the wake of deep public sentiment against their role in mass incarceration and family detention. “Following an ongoing and deliberate process, SunTrust has decided not to provide future financing to companies that manage private prisons and immigration holding facilities,” said Sue Mallino, Chief Communications Officer of SunTrust Banks, Inc. “This decision was made after extensive consideration of the views of our stakeholders on this deeply complex issue.”

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Volume 21: The PhilaImpact Fund’s Year of Progress: Key Accomplishments and Lessons Learned

When we announced the PhilaImpact Fund a year ago, we noted that it was created to fill a gap, offering a safe, smart direct investment opportunity tailored specifically to the Greater Philadelphia region. Our goal was to ensure that the opportunity gaps that exist in our communities get smaller, so that every resident has a chance to thrive from possibilities born from the region’s vibrancy. The results to date have been inspiring.


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How Board Members Really Feel About ESG, from Deniers to True Believers

Driving sustainable business practices in companies requires involvement from boards of directors. And there is some evidence that sustainability is rising up the board agenda. Many board members today have the right aspirations, but there is a substantial gap between those aspirations and the capacity of their boards and firms to deliver.

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Volume 20: Investing to Make Health Care Available to All

Although the Philadelphia region is home to some of the world’s finest hospitals that deliver best-in-class health care, many of our communities still suffer from the lack of access to care. Equal access to health care can be—must be—more than an aspiration; it must become a fact of life. Impact investment has the potential to help make high-quality care available to all. Let us work together to transform our best intentions into real solutions that benefit all who live in our region and in our nation.

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The ROI Of Purpose: The Growth To Expect And 3 Investments To Make

The time is coming where we’ll look back on how we’re doing business today and marvel at how strange it was. We’re living out the last moments of a way of working and defining value that we’ll remember with disbelief. We’ll do one of those head-shaking chuckles when we think about the fact that companies once existed without a real sense of purpose — similar to when we remember using phones that were anchored to our walls.

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Op Ed: Diversity Pays

Several years ago, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation decided to start investing portions of our multi-billion-dollar endowment with firms owned and managed by women and people of color. For our president, Alberto Ibarguen, and the board of trustees, it was morally the right thing to do, and we were confident we could execute it in a financially prudent and responsible way.

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