New World Economic Forum Report Highlights Practical Ways to do Impact Investing

Calvert Foundation recently contributed to the World Economic Forum's second edition of the report From Ideas to Practice, Pilots to Strategy: Practical Solutions and Actionable Insights on How to Do Impact Investing. This compendium of articles discusses the best practices and lessons learned from some of the leading practitioners in the impact investing field. We are honored to be included in this publication and share the story of how Calvert Foundation created the Community Investment Note, a high-impact fixed income security.

We've always been committed to democratizing impact investing. This mission was key to structuring the Note as a retail investment product that is available to anyone interested in investing in local organizations working to solve critical social issues, such as affordable housing, education, and women's empowerment. Our article describes the hurdles to creating a retail investment, and the process we navigated to make it a reality.

Also critical to democratizing impact investing has been the creation of an online platform through which the Note can be purchased for as little as $20. At the beginning of this summer, we launched to create an engaging medium through which investors can easily connect with the places and issues they care about, and gain technological efficiencies in managing the Note program. The lower minimum investment (versus the standard minimum of $1,000 on brokerage platforms) allows more people to engage in impact investing.

The piece also discusses our recommendations to further the impact investing field. Given the operational challenges of raising capital from retail investors, we see value in segmenting the industry based on core competencies. We feel we can best serve the impact investing industry by building on our experience in capital raising and channeling capital to partners with deployment expertise and boots on the ground. These partnerships allow organizations to focus on what they do best, as well as find opportunities for innovation and efficiency.

As interest in impact investing grows, especially from the millennial generation, it is important that more impact investing options are available to investors. We tell our story as a guide to other organizations looking to help retail investors invest for social good. We encourage you to read about the innovations of our fellow contributors and their work to advance the impact investing field.