Posts tagged Harvard Business Review
Can Impact Investing Avoid the Failures of Microfinance?

The impact investment industry is growing rapidly, a fact that many of us in the field celebrate. In 2010, J.P Morgan projected up to $1T in investment would be deployed this decade — which would make impact investing twice the size of official development aid to the world’s less develop countries (as defined by the United Nations), presuming historic levels of aid stayed constant since 2010. Many of us are starting to envision a day where we can drop the “impact” moniker and just assume that investments take into account social and environmental factors. But are we scaling the right model? How do we make sure that the blossoming impact investment movement — especially as it starts to supplant traditional aid — actually leads to improvements in outcomes for the people and communities it is supposed to benefit?

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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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It Pays to Become a B Corporation

"When the marketing team suggested that Cabot become a certified B Corporation, I was skeptical. Didn’t we already “self-monitor” our sustainability initiatives? Why did we need an outside certification? But when I learned that our retail partners had recently started asking about the impact of our sustainability programs, I agreed that Cabot would undergo the rigorous B Corp certification process to provide an objective measure.”

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