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Can You Invest for Both Social Impact and Profit?

How does an organization balance the goals of investing for social impact and investing for profit? How can the excitement around emerging technologies be channeled into create real and lasting change? Forbes Nonprofit Council members Rupert Scofield and Pamela Hawley discusses accountability and innovation in social impact investing.

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Key Takeaways

  • Impact investing is the practice of making investments with the aim of creating positive social impact alongside financial return. In order for it to work (that is, create positive social change as well as a financial return), the investor must be willing to ride out market changes so that the social impact is realized, not just the financial return.
  • Impact investors should put the mission and beneficiaries first, ahead of financial gain; plan for patience in volatile markets, not jumping ship when markets take a downturn; and proactively monitor their missions, understanding and communicating the work they do to serve all the intended beneficiaries as well as the investee companies.
  • Many factors may make it difficult for a nonprofit to garner support, from lack of understanding the cause or the technology that supports it to outside influences like disasters and market fluctuations. Perseverance is the key to maintaining forward momentum.

Tweetable Insights

“Market-based solutions to solving world issues like poverty are compelling, effective, and can tap into larger sources of capital than philanthropy alone.” Inside @ForbesCouncils with @rupertscofield of @FINCA – Listen here: forbescouncils.com/podcast/can-you-invest-for-both-social-impact-and-profit/

“Sometimes in your nonprofit and your social enterprise, you’re going to have to be perseverant … even when people are saying, ‘this isn’t gonna work.’” Inside @ForbesCouncils with @pamelahawley of @UniversalGiving – Listen here: forbescouncils.com/podcast/can-you-invest-for-both-social-impact-and-profit/

Featured Members

Pamela Hawley, Forbes Nonprofit Council, is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an award-winning nonprofit that helps people give and volunteer with vetted, quality opportunities all over the world. Prior to UniversalGiving, Pamela was a co-founder of VolunteerMatch. She speaks on a number of topics including global philanthropy and volunteerism, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and leadership.

Rupert Scofield, Forbes Nonprofit Council, is a pioneer in microfinance and life-long social entrepreneur. He is the president, CEO, and co-founder of FINCA International, the majority-owner of 20-community-based microfinance institutions and banks across Africa, Eurasia, Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia. He is also author of The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook and presenter of The Social Enterprise Podcast.

Can You Invest for Both Social Impact and Profit?

How does an organization balance the goals of investing for social impact and investing for profit? How can the excitement around emerging technologies be channeled into create real and lasting change? Forbes Nonprofit Council members Rupert Scofield and Pamela Hawley discusses accountability and innovation in social impact investing.

SUBSCRIBE

Key Takeaways

  • Impact investing is the practice of making investments with the aim of creating positive social impact alongside financial return. In order for it to work (that is, create positive social change as well as a financial return), the investor must be willing to ride out market changes so that the social impact is realized, not just the financial return.
  • Impact investors should put the mission and beneficiaries first, ahead of financial gain; plan for patience in volatile markets, not jumping ship when markets take a downturn; and proactively monitor their missions, understanding and communicating the work they do to serve all the intended beneficiaries as well as the investee companies.
  • Many factors may make it difficult for a nonprofit to garner support, from lack of understanding the cause or the technology that supports it to outside influences like disasters and market fluctuations. Perseverance is the key to maintaining forward momentum.

Tweetable Insights

“Market-based solutions to solving world issues like poverty are compelling, effective, and can tap into larger sources of capital than philanthropy alone.” Inside @ForbesCouncils with @rupertscofield of @FINCA – Listen here: forbescouncils.com/podcast/can-you-invest-for-both-social-impact-and-profit/

“Sometimes in your nonprofit and your social enterprise, you’re going to have to be perseverant … even when people are saying, ‘this isn’t gonna work.’” Inside @ForbesCouncils with @pamelahawley of @UniversalGiving – Listen here: forbescouncils.com/podcast/can-you-invest-for-both-social-impact-and-profit/

Featured Members

Pamela Hawley, Forbes Nonprofit Council, is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an award-winning nonprofit that helps people give and volunteer with vetted, quality opportunities all over the world. Prior to UniversalGiving, Pamela was a co-founder of VolunteerMatch. She speaks on a number of topics including global philanthropy and volunteerism, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and leadership.

Rupert Scofield, Forbes Nonprofit Council, is a pioneer in microfinance and life-long social entrepreneur. He is the president, CEO, and co-founder of FINCA International, the majority-owner of 20-community-based microfinance institutions and banks across Africa, Eurasia, Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia. He is also author of The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook and presenter of The Social Enterprise Podcast.

Join Forbes Councils

Our featured guests are members of Forbes Councils. If you are a successful entrepreneur, executive, or business leader, you may qualify.

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LOCATION

Forbes Councils
745 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02110

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