Dive into Impact Investing & Social Finance

One of the primary sources of the current momentum in Canadian impact investing and social finance can be traced back to a 2009 “study tour” to the United Kingdom. Led by SiG, the study tour examined the history of social finance in the U.K. and exposed a number of Canadian policy makers and community sector leaders to the field. The document embedded below is the report from the tour.

Shortly after the U.K. Study Tour, Tim Brodhead, formerly the President of the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation reflected on the economic crisis of 2008 and summed up his thoughts on how impact investing, social finance and other innovations could lead to a dramatic evolution of the community sector. His article appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of The Philanthropist.

Building on the growing interest in impact investing and social finance and in an effort to map the size and demand for debt financing in the non-profit sector, SiG supported a census of Ontario-based non-profits and charities.  The findings of the 2011 Social Finance Census are embedded below.

Any deep dive into the field of impact investing and social finance quickly reveals that impact measurement and metrics are critical. Without broadly accepted and applicable tools for impact measurement, the innovations in capital investment for social change are unlikely to enter the mainstream. Impact investors want – and need – to know how their investments are performing – socially, environmentally and financially. SiG@MaRS has compiled a report that outlines the landscape of impact measurement in Canada and globally. The report embedded below is essential reading for anyone looking to become intimately familiar with the field of impact investing and social finance.

In addition to the resources we’ve presented here, there are many more resources on the topic to be found online. Below are two recent and prominent publications to add to your reading list.

We also recommend that visitors to this site follow the #impinv hashtag on Twitter, consider attending a Social Capital Markets event and order a copy of Jed Emerson and Antony Bugg-Levine’s book Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference.

Finally, just a reminder that our latest social finance and impact investing research and happenings can be found on the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing site and socialfinance.ca

Note: A complete list of all SiG educational resources can be found in our publicly-available document library. We hope you’ve found this pathway to learning in impact investing and social finance helpful.