Impact Investing Is Hot: Why Am I Worried?

ON January 10, 2018

Impact Investing Is Hot: Why Am I Worried?

Minnesota Council on Foundations

In this article for Minnesota Council on Foundation’s Giving Form I describe the challenges I see facing the field of impact investing.

After decades crying in the wilderness, I should be happy now that investing for good has hit the mainstream. Right? Mainly, I’m optimistic about the flood of philanthropically minded investors shifting their resources in pursuit of their mission, beyond the 5 percent customary for most foundations.
Perhaps it’s akin to sending your children off to college to live their independent, adult lives. I’m hopeful, but I worry.

As it moves into the mainstream, impact investing faces four threats: impact washing, insufficient diversity, lack of transparency, and risk aversion

Read on

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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.