Weekly Review February 14 – 18

Every week at ID we scan the web for articles that relate to what we do and what we like. This week we read a lot about the softer side of Impact Investing.

Stop the Worship and Measure the Impact” by Abby Callard
Another great post from Abby Callard, this week she brings us back to earth and reminds us not to get caught up in the “superficial” side of philanthropy. People tend to worship and glorify philanthropists. Callard calls it “focusing on the individual instead of the issue.” It’s important to remember what the issue is and not just focus on who is doing the work, and the impact at the end of the day is what counts. There are several ways of measuring social impact, some highlights from 2010 include: The Impact Reporting and Investment Standards, the Global Impact Investing Rating System, and the Progress Out of Poverty Index.

Well Meaning… Well Doing” by Paul Hudnut
Paul Hudnut at BOPreneur discusses the difference between “well meaning” and “well doing.” It’s easy to be well meaning, however “it is important to not confuse intention with impact.” Hudnut remarks that the well do-ers are easy to identify by their will to impact, help, and, most importantly, learn from others.

Private Money, Public Benefit” by Margaret
There has been some buzz this week about social-impact bonds. Modeled from a similar program in the UK, the government finds investors to provide capital for privately managed non-profit social programs. If they’re successful, the government will pay the investors. Basically, tax dollars won’t be wasted on unsuccessful programs. If Congress approves, non-profit impact investing is going to go to new levels here in the US.

Rockefeller Foundation Sees Social-Change Dividend” by Shelly Banjo
More news on social-impact bonds. Shelly Banjo reports that the Rockefeller Foundation plans to announce a $400,000 grant to the Nonprofit Finance Fund, “Where Money Meets Mission.” NFF is the organization that is behind the social-impact bonds that may be coming to the US soon.  With these bonds, money will be tied to outcomes, and managing director at Rockefeller, Antony Bugg-Levine, goes on to say that “it increases the efficiency of how taxpayer money is used and steers more money toward nonprofits that are successful.”