Triple bottom line? Make money and make an impact with ESG investing

“No amount of philanthropy or foreign aid will solve the problems the world faces” said ImPact CEO Abigail Noble. “We need to use businesses and capital markets”. If you seek profits on a “triple bottom line,” you’re what’s called an impact investor. That means you’re interested in putting money into companies that generate positive social and environmental impact plus financial returns. 

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Margaret Bradley: Turning Philadelphia institutions into impact investors

Margaret Bradley is on a mission to make Philadelphia “the center of the impact investment universe.” Bradley cut her at teeth at The Reinvestment Fund, one of the nation’s top community finance institutions. Now with Ben Franklin Technology Partners, a regional economic development fund, she’s charged with deploying $15 million into Philly startups tackling education, health, other social and environmental challenges.

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BlackRock’s Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support

The chief executives of the world’s largest public companies recently received a letter from one of the most influential investors in the world. And what it says is likely to cause a firestorm in the corner offices of companies everywhere and a debate over social responsibility that stretches from Wall Street to Washington. Laurence D. Fink, founder and chief executive of the investment firm BlackRock, is going to inform business leaders that their companies need to do more than make profits — they need to contribute to society as well if they want to receive the support of BlackRock.

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The Total Impact Conference Comes to Philly

Total Impact is a new conference series dedicated to providing practical education and advice for investors and advisors to adopt socially responsible investment strategies across asset classes. Total Impact is a two-day event in Philadelphia on April 26 and 27, 2018, with a strong focus on curating the best investment firms and individual expertise to educate the investor space. In order to meet the growing demand for impact investing advice, it is critical to increase investment advisors' awareness and access to leading investment ideas and measurement tools. This forum is designed to inspire, educate, and equip investors and advisors who are looking for practical ways to execute as impact investors. 

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Seeking New Year's resolutions from business; no dieting required

“It’s about how do we create more and better corporate citizens,” said Donovan, program manager and sole employee at ImpactPHL, an alliance of people and organizations formed in July 2016 to enhance the Philadelphia region’s impact economy — where success is measured not just in financial performance, but in contributions to society’s betterment.

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Sister act: how a Philadelphia nun faced up to Wall Street

Sister Nora Nash regularly meets with CEOs of big banks, arms makers, and tobacco giants, using her order’s position as a shareholder to fight for change. In an age when corporations are first in line for tax cuts but seemingly unaccountable when an economy sinks or an election tilts, Nash has sought leverage by joining the one group that big companies still have to listen to: shareholders.

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Inclusive Economy: Year in Review. Overlooked assets, local ecosystems, economic revival

Middle America is an engine of innovation. Low-income communities are investable. Immigrants are assets, not liabilities. Inclusive prosperity is a pro-growth strategy. In cities and towns across the U.S. and around the world, business and civic leaders are building local ecosystems to help residents thrive in the global economy. We call them The New Revivalists.

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New Accelerator Program Focuses on Black, Latinx and Women Entrepreneurs. Applications Due Dec 22nd.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners recently announced that it is partnering with DC-based Village Capital to bring the Village Capital Pathways program to the Philadelphia region. The partnership also includes global financial services firm UBS and will focus its support on African American, Latinx, and/or women founders to help prepare their ventures for potential strategic partners and investors. 

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An Infographic: The Business Case for Conscious Companies

Why become a conscious company? Here's an easy answer: Because it's just plain good business.

Implementing conscious business practices isn’t just about doing the right thing or being nice. In fact, the research on the advantages of consciousness just keeps pouring in: self-aware leadership, sustainability, and other companion practices elevate human wellbeing even as they benefit the bottom line. But don’t just take our word for it — here’s the latest evidence of the benefits of becoming a conscious company in infographic format.

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Eleven online platforms that let you — yes, you — make socially responsible investments right now

As the socially-responsible, ESG (for environmental, social and governance), and impact investing movements have gained steam, so has the number of companies offering products aligned with investors’ values.

Providing low-cost, low-effort personal investment options, U.S. robo-advisorscurrently have more than $100 billion in assets, and are estimated to reach $2.2 trillion by 2020. To differentiate themselves within the market, and attract the 63 percent of millennials who have invested or intend to put money into socially-responsible investments, socially-conscious platforms and investment options are rapidly expanding.

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Evidence on the Financial Performance of Impact Investments

The GIIN’s report provides investors with a comprehensive review of available research to date on the financial performance of impact investments. The report evaluates over a dozen studies—produced by a wide range of organizations—on the financial performance of investments in three common asset classes in impact investing: private equity, private debt, and real assets, as well as individual investor portfolios allocated across asset classes.

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Philanthropy Needs More Moonshots

Audacious social change is incredibly challenging. Yet history shows that it can succeed. Unfortunately, success never results from a single grant or silver bullet; it takes collaboration, government engagement, and persistence over decades, among other things. To better understand why some efforts defy the odds and what lessons today’s philanthropists can learn from successful efforts of the past, we dived deep into 15 breakthrough initiatives. Our research revealed five elements that together constitute a framework for philanthropists pursuing large-scale, swing-for-the-fences change. 

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