“But For Us?” Is It Still a Useful Impact Investing Question

ON August 7, 2017

“But For Us?” Is It Still a Useful Impact Investing Question

Minnesota Council on Foundations

This month’s blog post which is takes a hard look at the “but for” test and its role in impact investing.

When I worked for Prudential Financial Impact Investments, we could only invest in projects that met the but for us, this project won’t happen” test. For example, but for Prudential,the first grocery store built in Newark since the 1960s would not have been built.

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What I'm doing now

The latest science says we are living through an “endemic” not a pandemic, anymore (take a listen to Science Friday’s 9/17 podcast). Rather than finding this news thoroughly depressing, I’m doing my best to embrace it. I’ve never thought there would be some kind of magic getting “back” to normal: only “Build Forward Better” as we said in our June, 2021 impact investing conference. So, let’s share what we’ve learned over the last 18 months. I’ve learned that people really do want to take action and explore new ways of addressing society’s ills such as climate change and racial injustice. What did you learn? I’d love to hear. Tweet me @susan_hammel or email or leave a comment below.