"Social-impact investing" -- venture capitalism, more or less, that aims for a mix of human and economic returns -- is becoming all the rage.
At first blush, the common shorthand term “impact investing” may seem redundant. All financial investments are made with the intention of having an impact. The twist here is a desire among some idealistic investors, philanthropists, foundations, and financial institutions to meld moneymaking with societal improvement. It’s a growing niche. According to a recent report by J. P. Morgan, some $8 billion in impact investments were made just in 2012, and interest has grown since then.
The movement enjoys buzz from the highest levels of government, philanthropy, and venture capital. A private blue-ribbon group that includes representatives of the Omidyar Network, Case Foundation, Morgan Stanley, Soros Economic Development Fund, Bridgespan Group, and the Ford, Rockefeller, and F. B. Heron foundations recently suggested that “the power of markets can help to scale solutions to some of our most urgent problems.”
-- from Howard Husock, "Business Marries Charity," Philanthropy Roundtable (2015).
About Howard Husock
Howard Husock is vice president for research and publications at the Manhattan Institute, where he is also director of the Institute’s social entrepreneurship initiative. A City Journal contributing editor, he is the author of Philanthropy Under Fire (2013) and a contributor to Forbes.com.
From 1987 through 2006, Husock was director of case studies in public policy and management at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was also a fellow at the Hauser Center on Nonprofit Organizations. His publications on the nonprofit sector have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Affairs, New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Society, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Public Interest. Husock has written widely on U.S. housing and urban policy, including in his book The Trillion-Dollar Housing Mistake: The Failure of American Housing Policy (2003) and his monograph Repairing the Ladder: Toward a New Housing Policy Paradigm (1996). His work has appeared in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Philanthropy, and The Wilson Quarterly.
A former broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker whose work won three Emmy Awards, Husock serves on the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He holds a B.A. from Boston University’s School of Public Communication and was a 1981–82 mid-career fellow at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
About Tim Coffin
Tim Coffin is a Senior Vice President with Breckinridge Capital Advisors, and has over 25 years of experience in public finance and the fixed income markets. Previous to Breckinridge, Tim was with Fidelity Investments where he launched and managed the firm's Municipal Finance Group within Fidelity Capital Markets. Prior to Fidelity, he spent over 10 years with Corby Capital Markets where he managed sales and marketing and served his last 3 years as the firm's President.