Impact Investing: No Family (Should Be) an Island

June 16, 2016

When eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and wife Pam embarked upon their impact investing journey more than twelve years ago, he admits, “there was no name for what we were trying to do.” They realized early on, however, if they wanted to generate sustainable change in the world, it would require putting “all the tools at their disposal to their best possible use.”

Today, the once foreign concept of investing to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return has emerged as one of the hottest discussion topics among investors, philanthropists, and financial advisors alike. Driven by a new wave of business leaders who are rethinking the role of capital and markets in tackling global challenges, and a younger generation of wealth holders demanding their values be aligned with their investments, impact investing is here to stay.

Reflecting on this mainstreaming raises the question of how the Omidyars’ experience might have been different if they had been part of a community dedicated to charting the impact investing course together. Or how their learnings and impact could have been accelerated by peers committed to sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and investment opportunities, and collaborating on game-changing innovations. Fortunately, today this is possible for those just starting out.

Cue The ImPact, a new organization that aims to inspire and empower families to make more impact investments more effectively. Through a curated network, The ImPact seeks to improve the flow of capital to businesses that have measurable social impact. As the first initiative to signal a public and transparent community of wealth holders committed to impact investing, The ImPact has the potential to draw more interest and unlock new capital into the space, similar to how the Giving Pledge continually propels philanthropic efforts as part of a broader collective movement.

Since launching in January 2016, The ImPact has already started to deliver upon their mission with the monthly release of primers geared at supporting families with their impact investing strategies. This new quality content is publicly available and includes resources specific to asset classes (e.g., fixed income, public equity, venture capital, and real assets), as well as broader themes (e.g., legal considerations for cross-border investing), helping move the impact investing industry conversation from the “why” to the “how.”

For these reasons, Omidyar Network is a proud co-founding partner of The ImPact, in hopes that others who are compelled by the impact investing opportunity can leverage this platform to leapfrog our efforts and those of other early pioneers to more quickly catalyze social benefit. We invite you to join us and make The Pact.

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