Archive - Philanthropy

Dec
9
2012

The Seduction of Hype

Several years ago, I delivered a presentation on the risks to the emerging discipline of impact investing. Among these risks was the notion that a wave of hype might propel the discpline into the headlines, that major Wall Street firms would see a marketing opportunity (and an enticing opportunity to green-wash in the wake of the financial crisis), and that the resulting flow of capital would overwhelm the small number of viable, investable impact opportunities before the space had the time to organically develop absorptive capacity. I remember the good-natured chuckles that spread through the room as I outlined this potential scenario... and the general sense that those of us who had been working to grow and refine the discipline should be so lucky! 


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Sep
28
2012

Measuring Philanthropic Impact... or Impact Investing?

A New York Times article this morning explored the increasing trend among philanthropists to measure the impact of the money they give away:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/29/your-money/measuring-the-impact-of-impact-investing-wealth-matters.html

Although the author does a commendable job of highlighting some of the nuanced issues that surround the very difficult notion of giving money away effectively, he then tries to bridge this notion to the broader world of impact investing. In short, I think he missed the mark.

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