The following blog post was written by Sara Johnson, Village Capital Program Associate.
With the flurry of articles and reports appearing daily around impact investing, I decided to stop for a minute and share some of the truly insightful pieces that I’ve come across. I can’t express enough how unbelievably eye-opening this internship has been for me in terms of hands-on experience, irrespective of the four month constraint. But the vast amount of literature that I’ve been exposed to while here has proven to be (almost) as useful as my day-to-day work.
To my fellow impact investing newbies: here is some of the literature that I’ve found to be invaluable in processing the depth and breadth of the industry. (I know I would have loved to have a list of literary sources to help me understand the basics when I plopped down in Atlanta a month and a half ago, with minimal understanding of impact investing and absolutely no ‘traditional’ business background.) Sure, this list is not complete. But literature surrounding a nascent field never is. Nor should it be – because unfinished literature means that the field is still evolving, and that people are still thinking critically about how to better the industry.
Please feel free to comment below with thoughtful additions!
1. Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference by Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson
2. The Responsible Hand: Overcoming the Shortcomings of Impact Investing by Alex Hamilton Chan
3. Pursuing Profits with Principles: The Case for Impact Investing Today by Robert Balentine
4. What’s Impact Investing’s Bottom Line? by Jeff Schlegel
5. Investing with Intent for Impact by Luther Ragin and Katy Lankester
6. The State and Future of Impact Investing by Rahim Kanani
7. Impact at Scale by the Rockefeller Foundation
8. Insight Into the Impact Investment Market by J.P. Morgan and GIIN
9. Investing for Impact by Credit Suisse
10. Investing for Social & Environmental Impact by Monitor Institute
11. The Impact Investor by Insight, Impact Assets, and CASE at Duke
12. Creating Social Value by Philip Auerswald
13. Impact Investing: Happy Returns by the Economist
14. Impact Investments: An Emerging Asset Class by J.P. Morgan and the Rockefeller Foundation
15. Solutions for Impact Investors: From Strategy to Implementation by the Rockefeller Foundation
16. Innovations: SoCap ’11 – Impact Investing Special Edition by MIT Press
17. From Blueprint to Scale by Harvey Koh, Ashish Karamchandani and Robert Katz
For the record, some of these reports will laud the risky work that impact investors are taking on, and the substantial impact that this industry could have, while other articles may present a more critical or cynical point of view. But it only seemed fair to present a broad spectrum of the literature on impact investing, instead of just providing one side of the argument. I hope this reading list is helpful to those who are just beginning to learn about the impact investing industry.