Guidebook for Impact Investors: Impact Measurement
“This guide is for impact investors who are interested in enhancing their use of social metrics. Impacts investments are “investments intended to create positive impact beyond financial returns” (O’Donohue et al.,2010). Impact investors are intentional in their efforts to generate both social and/or environmental goods and arrange of returns, from principal to above-market.
Just as a variety of financial indicators help you to assess opportunities, make decisions and monitor your investments, those seeking to generate non-financial returns use non-financial indicators to inform the investment process. These indicators, or social metrics, are often used to evaluate the social or environmental outcomes or impact of a project/company/organization. In this way, you can assess the outcomes that happened as a result of your involvement. This guide was created out of a recognition that social impact metrics can sometimes serve as a barrier to investors who are new to the impact investing space. While the field of measurement is developing quickly, the diversity and complexity of many of the existing measurement systems can be confusing.