The Global Impact Investing Network was created to help steward this industry's development and provide the public goods needed to address the critical needs of the growing industry. The GIIN Investors' Council focuses on leadership development for impact investors from around the world.
The Investors' Council will organize and support the leading impact investors who can play a catalytic role in driving the infrastructure, education, research, and advocacy agenda. The Investors' Council will focus on thought leadership in the industry and will serve as a platform for disseminating the latest research, best practices, and information about industry infrastructure. A key focus of the Investors' Council will be supporting investment clubs focused on nascent sectors that have a great opportunity for impact, such as the Terragua group of investors who are focused on sustainable agriculture in Africa. The Investors' Council will help drive the development and adoption of the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS), the major infrastructure initiative.
The Investor's Council will inform and participate in GIIN's education, research, and advocacy initiatives and will also work to identify new opportunities for the GIIN to support the industry's growth. Specifically, it will support:
- The GIIN's education initiative, which provides objective information and analysis that can support institutions as they begin impact investing or expand their existing portfolios.
- The GIIN's advocacy initiative, which provides information and facilitates interactions that can inform public sector actors on issues related to impact investing.
- GIIN's research initiative, which will help distribute, commission, and conduct research that provides more transparency for the field and will lead to more efficient execution of impact investments.
The impact investing industry has the potential to steer significant sums of money to market-based solutions to the world's most pressing challenges A rapidly growing number of investors are seeking to place capital in impact investments that will generate both social and/or environmental value and financial returns, at a minimum returning capital to investors and in many cases offering market-rate or even market-beating financial returns. Despite the challenging economic environment, the impact investing industry continues to manifest itself in a wide range of innovations and entrepreneurial activities around the world: private equity funds that provide growth capital profitably to businesses that generate social and environmental impact are proliferating. Clients of leading private banks and pension funds are calling on their investment managers to offer impact investment options, and private foundations are seeking to partner with investment banks and development finance institutions to make impact investments in areas related to their social mission. Impact investing can be a powerful complement to philanthropy and government efforts to address many issues, including relief for suffering communities, eradication of disease, stabilization of climate change, and provision of basic social services such as housing and sanitation.
Despite this momentum, the growth and efficiency of impact investing is limited by the absence of information and research on industry participants and investment activity. In addition, the weakness of market mechanisms--impact standards, rating agencies, transparency around intermediary service providers, formal mechanisms through which due diligence and business practices can be shared--creates debilitating inefficiency that hampers investment. These limitations currently prevent the flow of capital at scale towards addressing critical social and environmental problems. There is a need for a network to coordinate industry leaders to transform the fragmented, sub-scale, and uncoordinated market into a coherent marketplace that can solve a wider range of social issues by deploying more money, more efficiently and effectively.
The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is a platform for promoting the infrastructure, activities, education, and research that will enable more effective impact investing, which will ultimately increase the volume and effectiveness of capital deployed to solve previously intractable social and environmental problems. The GIIN Investors' Council is a main program area of the GIIN consisting of a group of leading impact investors who can play a catalytic role in building an efficient industry that can enable more investment-based solutions to social and environmental challenges. The GIIN and its Investors' Council are committed to building effective mechanisms for sharing information and working together to grow the scale and impact of this work.
SEEKING: Financial resources, implementing partners, best practice information, media/marketing opportunities
The GIIN Investors' Council is seeking select additional members. In response to demand from leading impact investors for a global collaboration platform, the GIIN manages the Investors' Council to accelerate learning about new investment opportunities, facilitate the sharing of lessons learned, highlight and spread best practices, and enable opportunities for collaboration and co-investment among members. As leaders in the industry, Investors' Council members are also engaged in developing tools and other resources aimed at serving the broader impact investing industry. Through leading conferences and media outreach, the GIIN promotes successful impact investments made by Investors' Council members as part of its broader effort to demonstrate how for-profit investment can produce targeted social and environmental benefits. Only large-scale active impact investors are eligible for membership consideration, and membership decisions are made by the staff of the Global Impact Investing Network.
Although, current funding is sufficient to achieve the original goal to increase the scale and effectiveness of impact investing through 2010, there is additional room for industry growth beyond our one-year commitment. The GIIN expects to continue its role as a collaboration platform and steward of best practices for impact investing around the world, and seeks future grant-making partners to support this work beyond 2010.
OFFERING: Implementing partners, best practice information, media/marketing opportunities
A critical function of the GIIN is the dissemination of information about impact investing and the industry's best practices. Prospective impact investors and active impact investors looking to expand their activities are the idea audience for the GIIN's resource center, and for events that the GIIN organizes with partners.
The GIIN works with implementation partners (i.e. active impact investors) to highlight successful impact investments, innovative approaches, and industry best practices through media outreach, and in GIIN marketing materials, including the GIIN website.