September 18, 2014

Global Coordination on Impact Investing

Last year, the G8 convened a Social Impact Investment Taskforce to bring together government officials and senior figures from the worlds of finance, business and philanthropy, from across the G8 countries to stimulate the development of an effective global impact investing market. After an intensive global process, in which Canada was well-represented, a series of reports were launched this week.


The main Report, Impact Investment: The Invisible Heart of Markets – Harnessing the power of entrepreneurship, innovation and capital for public good, calls on governments and the financial sector to take action to unleash $1 trillion of private sector impact investment to tackle social problems. Notable recommendations include:

  • Define fiduciary duty of foundation and pension fund trustees to allow investment in impact assets.
  • Make impact products accessible to retail pension and savings investors.
  • Foundations and philanthropists to allocate a percentage of their endowments or wealth to achieving impact.
  • Support standardized measurement of social impact to appear alongside financial performance metrics.


The report of the Canadian National Advisory Board, Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good: Priorities for Canada, was also just released. It recommends action in four key areas:

  • Enable social enterprise activity in the charitable and non-profit sector.
  • Unlock foundation capital for impact investing.
  • Establish an impact investing matching program, paired with appropriate incentives.
  • Establish an outcomes payment fund.


Several other thematic reports were also issued by global working groups, including:

  • Asset Allocation [PDF]: Targeted at Chief Investment Officers and Investment Managers, and aims to recognise that a diversified and thoughtful allocation to impact investments can fit with their fiduciary responsibilities.


A related report from the World Economic Forum, Charting the Course: How Mainstream Investors can Design Visionary and Pragmatic Impact Investing Strategies, was also launched. The goal of this report is to help interested investors ask the right questions as they contemplate their path into impact investing.


Purpose Capital congratulates all the people and organizations involved in bringing together these reports, which represent a significant intellectual contribution to the theory and practice of impact investing globally, and in Canada. We look forward to applying the guidance and principles from these publications in our own projects and market-building initiatives.