The Forum's Point of View on Impact Investing and Charity

Today’s Fortune piece, by Ryan Derousseau, How ‘Impact Investing’ Can Put a Profitable Spin on Charity, highlights a growing investment community axiom that social and environmental impact investing is and has been trending to strike the balance between mission focus and profitability.  The appetite for direct investment in impact focused verticals has been growing rapidly, just as the appetite for diversified impact mutual funds has blossomed.  We can attribute the demand to a growing base of investors who are committed to corporate responsibility and social responsibility and an awareness among the Millennial and later generations who are demanding access to investments that fit with their conscience and belief systems. 

Further, as dollars continue to transfer from the Boomer generation to its progeny, we can expect these trends to accelerate.  We are only at the very beginning of the bell curve on this massive wealth transfer.  The good news for the impact inclined investor is that there are plenty of solid investments available in the market for the savvy investor who wants to move the needle on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in the process, such investors may find that they can contribute to true movement on these issues in more than one vertical with a single allocation of funds.  We thank Mr. Derousseau for his attention to this trend, and we hope to see more on this in the coming months.

-- John Shire is Partner in the Corporate Department of the Washington, D.C. office of Seyfarth Shaw and is the head of the Impact Investment practice.

Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash