The future of impact investing

I’ve now spent four years in the impact investing space, and nearly three years as a blogger on philanthropy, generosity and social change.  The landscape looks radically different than it did just a few years ago.

On the upside, JP Morgan is now saying that impact investing might be a $1 trillion market; “impact investing” and “social entrepreneurs” are two of the top 10 philanthropy buzzwords of the decade; and we’ve seen a flourishing of philanthropy, especially by mega-donors, both in terms of total philanthropic dollars committed and in more visible and more public talk of results-oriented approaches.

At the same time we’ve seen the limits of markets: the global economy nearly collapsed in late 2008; microfinance, wunderkind of new philanthropy, was shaken to its core by a wave of suicides in southern India late last year.  No wonder that some are calling 2011 the year of reckoning for social enterprise.

Here’s my take on what this all means, from my talk at the 2010 NextGen:Charity conference.

(You also don’t want to miss these other great talks from the conference: Scott Case, Scott Harrison, Scott Belsky, and Nancy Lublin.)

Enjoy, and please share you reactions.

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2 thoughts on “The future of impact investing

  1. Sasha,

    I write this comment from the airport, on my way to Mexico for the Latin America Impact Investing Forum. There’s been a huge growth in impact investors, particularly in the last two years, but many tend to be focused in the same geographic areas – Latin America, East Africa, and India. Only the Acumen Fund is really investing in Pakistan (correct me if I’m wrong). As a Pakistani working and interested in this field, how do you convince or attract more investors towards this country (impact, and obviously otherwise), other than crossing our fingers that the security, political and economic situation get a lot better?

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