Impact Case Studies and Reports

A collection of Impact Investment case studies and annual impact reports from various foundations and individuals. These investors have been open and transparent sharing their impact journey in great depth. Some key insights among the reports include:

  • The transition to an impact portfolio
  • Tackling impact measurement
  • What does asset allocation look like in an impact portfolio
  • The mistakes made along the way
  • Beyond investing – adding value through networks and advocacy

Case Studies

The Russell Family FoundationThe Impact Investing Journey Oct 2018 (web link) “The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) has released a case study on its approach to impact investing outlining its comprehensive journey since inception and four-year experience growing from seven percent to almost 75 percent mission-aligned investments.”

Edwards Mother Earth FoundationImpact Investment Case Study 2018 (web link) “In 2014, the Edwards Mother Earth Foundation (EMEF) decided to invest its entire endowment with the intention of generating measurable environmental benefits and competitive financial returns. Defined as impact investing, the approach enables investors of all kinds – foundations and families, institutions and individuals – to align their assets with their values.”

Omidyar Network – First 10 Years – An Impact Analysis 2018 (web link) “highlights our estimates of the impact of the firm’s investments made during our first 10 years, representing investments into 380 organizations and the deployment of $750 million across more than seven sectors and 40 countries. We made most of our investments during that period in early-stage organizations, with capital split roughly 50-50 between for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

KL Felicitas FoundationIn Pursuit of Deep Impact and Market-Rate Returns: KL Felicitas Foundation’s Journey Apr 2018 (pdf link) “In Pursuit of Deep Impact and Market-Rate Returns: KL Felicitas Foundations Journey is a deep-dive analysis of the KLF impact investment portfolio, which provides a model strategy for achieving targeted social and environmental as well as financial returns. ”

RS GroupImpact Report  May 2016 (web link) “RS Group is a mid-sized Hong Kong-based family office with a mission to create a paradigm shift in people’s values and priorities so that economic growth will support, instead of jeopardize, human development and environmental sustainability.”

Bridges Ventures and The Parthenon GroupInvesting for Impact – Case Studies Across Asset Classes (web link) “Bridges Ventures and The Parthenon Group have published a report looking at investments that can make a positive social or environmental impact as well as financial returns.  The report is intended to help the investment community gain a better understanding of the growing Impact Investment industry.”

Impact Benchmarking and Surveys

Bluemark – The Benchmark for Impact Investing Practice 2021 (web link) – “This report introduces the BlueMark Practice Benchmark (“Practice Benchmark”, or “Benchmark”), a new tool that clarifies what best-in-class impact management6 looks like throughout the investment process…we draw on the results of BlueMark’s first 30 independent verifications of investor alignment with the Impact Principles to provide a clear and impartial view into prevailing impact management practices, segmenting investors into Practice Leader, Median, and Learner categories.

Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) – Benchmarking Impact: Australian Impact Investor Insights, Activity and Performance Report 2020 (pdf link) – brings together, for the first time, two flagship pieces of research focused on the Australian impact investment market: 1) Survey –  motivations, intentions and perceived roadblocks to increased investment, unpacks the impact measurement and management practices and challenges. 2) Activity and Performance study – measures how the Australian impact investment market size, activity and performance are changing over time.

Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)2020 Annual Impact Investor Survey (web link) – “the 10th edition of the GIIN’s flagship report, which provides the most comprehensive overview of the impact investing market. This edition captures data from 294 of the world’s leading impact investors—the most Annual Survey respondents ever—who collectively manage USD 404 billion of impact investing assets, representing an important subset of the USD 715 billion global impact investing market.”

Toniic: T100Foundations on the Road to 100% (web link) – “New from T100 comes a research briefing focused on how foundations are deploying their capital toward deeper positive net impact across all asset classes. In this report, we investigate how these 18 foundations are overcoming misconceptions about impact investing while managing to go deeper with their impact while staying profitable, managing risk, and furthering their mission.”

Toniic: T100Powered Ascent 2018 Insights from the Frontier of Impact Investing (web link) “100% impact portfolios are getting easier to build, the pioneers behind them are accelerating their shift to deeper impact, and investors are meeting their goals for both financial and impact returns, reveals the second T100 report in the longitudinal study of portfolios in Toniic’s 100% Impact Network.”

Toniic: T100Launch Report 2016 Insights from the Frontier of Impact Investing (web link) “The T100: Launch – Insights from the Frontier of Impact Investing makes public for the first time the aggregated portfolios of more than 50 investors, ranging in size from less than $2 million to more than $100 million, successfully targeting and achieving both impact and financial returns across the same asset classes available to traditional investors.”

Impact Reports

WHEB Asset Management – WHEB Impact Report 2020 (pdf link) – “Impact investing originally evolved in private markets, and there is still discussion about the application of the term to public markets. It is our belief and contention that WHEB is a positive impact investor. (Note: Public Equities)

Capricorn Technology Impact FundImpact Report Jan 2021 (Issuu web link) – “Technology Impact Fund (TIF) is a venture capital partnership which invests in companies that develop novel materials, devices, systems and business models – from Silicon Valley chipsets to emerging world micro-grids – to propel the new crop of sustainable companies and renewable infrastructure.”

Sonen Capital2020 Impact Report (web link) – “New to our analysis this year, we illustrate how our own internal impact frameworks align closely with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and lead to investments that are providing critical solutions to the challenges of climate change, resource use, and equitable economic development among others.”

Inspire Impact2020 Impact Report (pdf link) – “The Inspire Australian Equities Fund is designed for investors seeking to invest in Australian companies that are solving the world’s problems. Using our proprietary impact measurement process, we direct capital to ASX listed companies that are solving these problems. ” (Note: Public Equities)

Impact Investment GroupImpact Report 2020 (web link) – Australian Impact fund manager across Renewables, Real Estate, Venture Capital and Alternatives: “We’ve designed this year’s impact report to be useful for investors, our investees, our team, our partners, and the broader impact ecosystem…Beyond the results, this years impact report delves into some ideas we’ve been thinking about through the year.”

Obvious VenturesWorld Positive Report 2020 (pdf link) – “Our purpose
at Obvious is simple…and has remained the same from day one: invest in world positive entrepreneurs building disruptive solutions to humanity’s biggest problems. Since our inception in 2014, we’ve believed that the most valuable companies of our time will be the ones reimagining trillion-dollar sectors from the ground up, responsibly harnessing transformative technology and values-driven leadership practices to do so. ”

Calvert Impact Capital2020 Impact Report (web link) – “This month marks an important anniversary for Calvert Impact Capital. Twenty-five years ago, on October 25, 1995, we sold the first Community Investment Note®. Today, our cumulative Note sales are over $2 billion, but that journey began with a single check. What started as a novel, somewhat eccentric idea — aligning your investments with your values — is now gaining significant momentum.”

Leapfrog Investments2019 Annual Impact Results (web link) – “LeapFrog invests in extraordinary businesses in Africa and Asia. We partner with their leaders to achieve leaps of growth, profitability and impact. We call this distinctive approach “profit with purpose” because it generates strong results and changes many lives. Leading global investors share this vision and have invested and committed over $1.5 billion to LeapFrog.”

WHEB Asset ManagementAnnual Impact Report 2019 (pdf link) – “WHEB is a positive impact investor focused on the opportunities created by the transition to a low carbon and sustainable global economy. We are well known and respected for our experience, expertise and innovation in sustainable and impact investing.” (Note: Public Equities)

Sonen Capital2019 Impact Report (web link) – “The report provides an in-depth and multidimensional view of the sustainability characteristics of our four investment strategies. To measure and illustrate the multiple social and environmental impacts of our strategies, we use Environmental, Social and Governance data; the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS);  the UN Sustainable Development Goals and proprietary internal impact frameworks.”

Australian Impact InvestmentsImpact Report 2019 (pdf link) – “Five years ago, amidst growing interest in impact investing, we launched Australian Impact Investments with the goal of enabling investors to mobilise capital to effect positive environmental and social change. Change that would contribute to a better tomorrow for individuals, local and global communities, and our planet.”

Impact Investment GroupImpact Report 2019 (pdf link) “IIG is a leading Australian Impact Investment Funds Manager.We want to prove that finance can be a force for good. That finance can support outcomes that are good for people and good for the planet…Our community of investors has funded solar farms, green buildings and the start-up years of mission-driven businesses.”

Calvert Impact Capital2019 Impact Report (web link) –  “As Calvert Impact Capital nears our 25th anniversary next year, we continue to work towards the vision we laid out more than two decades ago: to use private capital in innovative and collaborative ways to create an equitable and sustainable world.”

Christian Super – 2019 Impact Report (web link) – “our first comprehensive Impact Report outlines the way in which our dedicated $140 million impact portfolio is contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This report outlines how we, in partnership with other investors are making a significant positive impact.”

Kapor Capital – Impact Report 2019 (web link) “Kapor Capital companies are changing our world for the better in very specific ways, and they are bringing high levels of returns for investors. We hope that our experience may be a model for other VCs who care about creating a more fair, just and equitable world.”

Tribe Impact CapitalImpact Report 2018-19 (web link) “As a private wealth manager, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate that investing through the lens of positive, sustainable impact is not only achievable, it is ultimately beneficial for all involved…We
manage capital on behalf of our clients for financial return, values alignment and positive impact. ”

Sonen Capital2018 Impact Report (web link) “Sonen Capital seeks to provide its clients competitive financial returns with meaningful, positive social and environmental benefits. Sonen’s impact investments…four distinct impact investment strategies, covering fixed income, global equity, sustainable real assets and our multi-asset class absolute return strategy.”

TechstarsImpact Report 2018-19 (web link) “Techstars launched with the simple belief that entrepreneurs build a better future. Twelve years and over 1700 portfolio companies later, we’ve watched this belief be confirmed year after year in all corners of the world. Still, 2018 represented a notable milestone for Techstars, we launched Techstars Impact, our first impact fund, exclusively dedicated to backing entrepreneurs tackling our most pressing global challenges.”

Australian Impact InvestmentsImpact Report 2018 (pdf link) ” Australian Impact Investments is an asset consultant specialising in impact and responsible investments. We provide research, portfolio construction and investment management services. We assist wealth managers, financial advisers and their clients, including family offices, charitable trusts and foundations and not-for-profits, to build bespoke portfolios that are aligned with their values and generate social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.”

Calvert Impact Capital2018 Impact Report (web link) “Calvert Impact Capital makes impact investable. We exist to create a more equitable financial system that offers opportunity for all, and we seek to fulfill this mission through both the investments in our portfolio and by sharing our knowledge and expertise with the field.”

Impact Handbooks and Guides

Rockefeller Philanthropy AdvisorsImpact Investing Handbook – An Implementation Guide for Practitioners (web link/email signup) “180 pages of helping asset owners turn interest into action. Two years in the making, this practical publication features case studies and detailed guidance for individuals, families, foundations, and corporations…it features input from over fifty experts and practitioners.”

Impact FrontiersImpact-Financial Integration – A Handbook for Investors (pdf link) “an initiative of the Impact Management Project (IMP), to pioneer new ways to integrate impact management with financial management. This handbook presents the methods of impact financial integration that our organizations developed and implemented, along with examples and lessons learned.”

Impact Assets – The Impact Assets Handbook for Investors (weblink) “experts from the impact investing field share their insights in this critical how-to guide for investors. Learn practical methods for building an investment portfolio that generates not only financial returns, but also creates positive social and environmental impact in the world.”

Social Impact HubField Guide to Impact Investing for Australian Charitable Trusts and Foundations (web link) ” The step-by-step guide delivers theoretical and practical insights to the reader by showcasing best-practice theory with a spectrum of real case studies from domestic and international philanthropic organisations to highlight the variety of ways foundations can participate.”