The impact investing ecosystem is heavily influenced by public policies, which can discourage or incentivize impact investing practice by investors, funds and companies, and the intermediaries that bring them together. As a research program based at a public policy school, the IRI has a special interest in understanding the design and implementation of policies that lead to more robust and effective impact investing markets.
The IRI’s formal work on public policy began in 2010 through a partnership with InSight at Pacific Community Ventures, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, to develop an initial framework for impact investing policy design and analysis. This work was followed by a report in 2011 that looked specifically at impact investing policy relevant for institutional investors in the U.S.
IRI and InSight also collaborated on the development of two multi-stakeholder platforms that aimed to support cross-border learning on impact investing policy. The Impact Investing Policy Collaborative was a research-oriented global community of researchers and policymakers, and the Global Learning Exchange (GLE) leveraged the G8 Social Investment Taskforce and the World Economic Forum to support multi-stakeholder education and action-oriented dialogue on social impact investing. In partnership with the WEF and the Schwab Foundation, the IRI contributed to a sector-specific report that looked at impact investing policy and social enterprise.
Focusing in on the U.S., the IRI has provided research support to InSight and Enterprise Community Partners in their Accelerating Impact Investing Initiative (AI3) and serves as a resource for U.S. policymakers, foundations, and other stakeholders who are interested in policy changes that would support the impact investing market. The IRI remains committed to exploring the important role that policy plays in the development of the impact investing market, both domestically and globally.