New evidence that the world of impact investing is maturing: a newly released survey from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). Called The State of Impact Measurement and Management Practice, the GIIN’s second biennial report on the topic reveals that impact investors are a lot more sophisticated when it comes to the assessment and management of social and environmental impact.
The bottom line: Impact investors no longer have to convince colleagues of the importance of measurement and management (IMM). As a result, they’re now focused on integrating their measurement and management practices into all their investment decision-making. Accurate insight into impact performance, of course, is critical to the further growth of the impact investing industry. “Impact management is a requirement for all credible impact investors,” says Sapna Shah, managing director. “It’s not optional anymore.”
For impact entrepreneurs, it also means, according to Shah, that potential investors will be stepping up their expectations for reliable and comprehensive impact performance reporting. While that might be a challenge, it’s also an opportunity. “This offers enterprises a way to differentiate themselves,” she says. Plus, presenting a strong IMM approach can help create better relationships with investors. “It provides the basis for a far deeper conversation and potentially a more multi-faceted relationship,” she says.
Impact management means the series of steps needed to manage relevant information, such as how to collect, assess and interpret data in a way that improves performance, as well as to set impact objectives and, for direct investors, to understand how that informs the selection of investments. It also includes methods for comparing impact performance or potential to other investments.