Impact investing refers to investment products and services that seek to achieve a social or environmental impact as well as a financial return.

In Year 1, this evaluation of the Foundation’s $40 M global Impact Investing Initiative involved document review; analysis of the Initiative’s four-year grantee portfolio; theory of change analysis; interviews with 100 leaders of the emerging impact investing industry in 11 countries; detailed organizational assessments of two key grantees; and participant observation at sector meetings. The findings, lessons and recommendations of the study were presented to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Executive.

In Year 2, the results of the assessment were disseminated through learning events and public goods knowledge products, including some 20 conference and workshop presentations to more than 1,000 practitioners in investment, development, philanthropy and evaluation; an industry scan that has been downloaded more than 1,500 times; an academic article and five, short thematic papers directed to practitioners and policymakers on evaluating impact investing, using networks to build new fields, and other topics.

Featured Publication

Accelerating Impact, a report prepared by E.T. Jackson and Associates and commissioned by The Rockefeller Foundation as part of a third-party evaluation of our Impact Investing initiative, provides one of the most recent and comprehensive scans of the global impact investing industry to date. The research is informed in part by insights from interviews with more than 100 impact investing leaders from 11 countries.

The report examines the evolution of the field over the past four years as well as its current status, reflecting that the field has moved decisively from a phase of “uncoordinated innovation” to one of sustained “marketplace-building.” The report concludes by offering recommendations to industry leaders regarding the challenges and opportunities that may lie ahead.

Download Report: Accelerating Impact

 Download Executive Summary (PDF)

 Download Full Report (PDF)