Can Investors Put 100% of Funds to Work for Social Benefit? An Emerging Movement Says Yes

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Can Investors Put 100% of Funds to Work for Social Benefit? An Emerging Movement Says Yes

By Don Shaffer
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Can Investors Put 100% of Funds to Work for Social Benefit? An Emerging Movement Says Yes || Read: http://3bl.me/t6m8hv via @CSRwire

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Don Shaffer

Summary

This blog is part of our series on Sustainable Finance. For more articles, visit CSRwire.

Monday, March 9, 2015 - 12:30pm

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When I first started working in impact investing, the field’s challenges were foundational: refining the concept, finding suitable investments, figuring out how to measure impact, even determining what to call the concept. Work in all those areas continues, but the field has matured to the point where it’s on the agenda of the G8, finance conglomerates feel they need to have an impact product, and the mainstream business press is taking notice (if skeptically). Now I’m seeing an enormous amount of energy pouring into our next great challenge: cultivating a vanguard of 100 percent impact investors, people who devote their entire portfolio to funding enterprises that strive to produce social and ecological benefits as a core part of their mission.

I’m privileged to have an inside view of this nascent movement. At RSF Social Finance, we’ve been working for years with clients and partner organizations to promote this increased level of commitment and to seed the infrastructure that supports it. And momentum is building: the push toward 100 percent impact (sometimes called whole portfolio activation) is where the action is in impact investing.

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Don Shaffer’s first exposure to the financial system made him want to change it. As a teenage caddy at a New Jersey country club, Shaffer met some of the biggest winners in Wall Street’s ’80s boom.  What left a lasting impression on him was the fact that none of these powerful men could explain what they did. That puzzle sparked a lifelong ambition to peel back the curtains on finance and create a system that works for businesses and communities—rather than a system that puts businesses and communities at its mercy. Click here to learn more about Shaffer.

Keywords: Sustainable Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | CSRwire | Events, Media & Communications | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | SRI | Sustainable Finance | impact investing

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