The Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing Awards $3.3 Million in Grants to 16 Organizations Working on Efforts to Advance the Impact Investing Field Through Improved Data, Metrics, and Measurement
Grant recipients work on areas critical to the growth of the impact investing market, including efforts to harmonize and promote impact investing standards, expand impact assurance and definitions of materiality, and strengthen the global data infrastructure needed for strong impact measurement and mandated ESG disclosure
Jul 27, 2021, 08:05 ET
NEW YORK, July 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing (TPF), a donor collaborative vehicle launched in December 2019 with a mission of scaling the impact investing market with integrity, today announced that it will award approximately $3.3 million in grants to 16 organizations working on various projects related to improving impact "Data, Metrics, and Measurement." This is the TPF's largest grant cycle to date.
"Access to clear, consistent, and comparable data is an essential part of the impact investing market and is key to the efficient flow of capital," said Fran Seegull, Executive Director of the TPF and President of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance. "As the market grows, evolves and enters the mainstream, so too must the metrics, tools, and platforms used to measure and disclose impact to various stakeholder groups."
"We are inspired by the work and the ideas of these sixteen organizations, each of which brings a unique perspective on, and approach to, tackling a specific challenge in the impact investment market," said Jessie Duncan, Program Officer at the TPF. "We hope that this funding will help bring more of these ideas to life, enabling public and private capital markets to better address urgent social, economic, and environmental issues."
To guide its grantmaking process, the TPF team developed a set of five key verticals that it views as critical to the continued growth and integrity of the impact investing market. These became the five areas of RFP scope, specifically:
- Impact standards alignment and harmonization, driven by increasing market actor demand, potential for regulatory action across jurisdictions, and continuing collaboration among voluntary global standard bodies.
- Impact standards application and adoption, with a focus on matching efforts to align and harmonize impact standards with parallel efforts to drive adoption of these standards.
- Impact verification and assurance & third-party impact rating systems, including the services and tools needed to align around what constitutes quality and relevant impact performance reporting.
- Development of a strong evidence base for an expanded view of materiality, with a focus on supporting research on the materiality of ESG factors in the long-term financial performance of companies, funds, and portfolios. This vertical also includes advocacy for an expanded view of materiality as it relates to impact reporting, ESG disclosure, and fiduciary duty.
- Development of data infrastructure/platforms needed to support stronger impact measurement and ESG disclosure, with the goal of making sure impact investing data is consistent, comparable, and sharable, across companies and funds globally, and can be used as an input for asset allocation decisions.
Each grant recipient was asked to show how their proposed work aligns with one or more of these Data, Metrics, and Measurement verticals. The full list of grant recipients is:
- 60 Decibels — 60 Decibels is a social enterprise helping clients around the world measure and understand their impact. With funding from the TPF, 60 Decibels will develop a public index of customer-level impact data for up to 100 financial inclusion companies globally.
- Adasina Social Capital — Adasina is an investment and financial activism firm that serves as a critical bridge between financial markets and social justice movements. With funding from the TPF, Adasina will write a case study on its approach to working with social justice movements to develop community-sourced impact metrics and build a Social Justice Impact Database, a new platform to consolidate existing social justice data sets and impact metrics.
- Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) — ANDE is a global network of nearly 300 collaborative members that propel entrepreneurship in developing economies. With funding from the TPF, ANDE will bring together different stakeholders around peer exchange, capacity building, and the development of tools and research with the goal of increasing alignment among entrepreneur-support organizations on high-quality measurement systems and approaches.
- B Lab — B Lab is a nonprofit organization and membership network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. With funding from the TPF, B Lab will develop a new set of performance requirements that companies must meet to achieve B Corporation certification.
- BlueMark — BlueMark provides impact performance and impact management practice verification services for investors and companies. With funding from the TPF, BlueMark will research and develop a report for the field laying out best practices in impact performance assurance and identifying opportunities for third-party assurance services.
- CDP — CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) is an environmental nonprofit organization that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. With funding from the TPF, CDP will map existing and emerging sustainability taxonomies of economic activities within its disclosure approach, therefore laying the foundation to better integrate these frameworks into CDP's existing platform and to enable efficient disclosure of all ESG impact data on its platform.
- AssuranceMark and Ceres — Ceres is a nonprofit organization which advocates for stronger sustainability practices in the private sector. With funding from the TPF, Ceres will partner with Samantha Ross, founder of AssuranceMark and a leading expert on impact assurance, to develop a protocol for high-quality, third-party impact assurance.
- Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) — CDSB is an international consortium of business and environmental NGOs (currently housed within CDP) with a mission to advance and align global mainstream corporate reporting models to improve environmental and social impacts with financial capital. With funding from the TPF, CDSB will work with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation's Technical Readiness Working Group (TRWG) to support the soon-to-be-launched International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).
- Center for Innovation (C4i) at the University of California Hastings Law — C4i is a think tank with a mission to promote data-driven law making and empower policymakers and regulators to make informed, evidence-based decisions. With funding from the TPF, C4i will conduct research, engage stakeholders, and develop recommendations for strengthening assurance of ESG data in corporate reporting.
- Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) — The GIIN is dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing around the world. It builds critical infrastructure and supports activities, education, and research that help accelerate the development of a coherent impact investing industry. With funding from the TPF, the GIIN will launch the IRIS+ List, the most comprehensive source of information from leading investors allocating capital towards impact, and develop a database to capture, store, and analyze impact practice and performance data sourced from the IRIS+ List. Powered by IRIS+ metrics that are used by thousands of asset managers and institutional investors around the world, the TPF-supported project will advance transparency and impact data availability in the market to enable the development of analytic tools, which will offer investors the impact intelligence they seek to make more informed and efficient decisions.
- Impact Capital Managers (ICM) — ICM is a nonprofit organization and membership association seeking to grow the private capital impact investing marketplace with integrity and authenticity. With funding from the TPF, ICM will publish a roadmap and resource guide on impact measurement and management for private fund managers and develop an online, public curriculum to help investors understand and implement existing sustainability standards.
- Impact Management Project (IMP) — The IMP is a forum for building global consensus on how to measure, assess, and report impacts on people and the natural environment. In 2020, the IMP established the Non-Financial Digitisation Working Group (NDWG) to assess what is required to develop and maintain digitized sustainability information. Digitization is a core component of business reporting that can enable the sharing of higher quality, more timely sustainability information between preparers and users, and ultimately reduce the cumbersome and costly barriers to inputting and accessing data. With funding from the TPF, the IMP will continue to work with different partners under the NDWG, to help facilitate a coordinated strategy for digitization.
- PolicyLink — PolicyLink is a nonprofit organization working to advance racial equity standards and metrics in capital markets. With funding from the TPF, PolicyLink will develop and publish an "Investor Blueprint for Racial Equity" as part of its "Achieving Racial Equity Through Corporate Actions Initiative" launched in 2020 in partnership with FSG and JUST Capital. The guide will help investors and asset managers assess the intended and unintended impacts of current investment practices and policies on people of color and low-income communities; how to effectively deploy capital to advance racial equity; and how to evaluate investments for just and equitable outcomes.
- The Predistribution Initiative (PDI) and Rights CoLab — PDI and Rights CoLab are two nonprofit organizations working to mobilize investor action to address pressing societal issues, including inequality and human rights. With funding from the TPF, PDI and Rights CoLab, along with the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS, based in South Africa) and the Argentine Network for International Cooperation (RACI, based in Argentina), will unite diverse stakeholders in incubating a Task Force on Inequality-related Financial Disclosures (TIFD). Inspired by the widespread uptake of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), TIFD is envisioned as a systemic risk management framework, complete with targets, metrics and thresholds, to reduce inequality created by the private sector.
- The Shareholder Commons (TSC) — The Shareholder Commons is a nonprofit organization working to create a business environment that prioritizes environmental and societal benefits over individual company profits. With funding from the TPF, TSC will develop and act on several industry and issue-specific case studies on tangible improvements in corporate behavior and value creation that an expanded view of materiality can achieve.
- Toniic Institute (Toniic) — Toniic is a nonprofit organization which developed Toniic Tracer, an impact investing portfolio management platform, to collect data for its T100 research project studying impact investing deployment by private investors. With funding from the TPF, Toniic will build an interface for sharing data among impact management platforms like Tracer, advancing interoperability and building towards harmonized impact reporting.
The TPF will continue to support the development of the impact investing market through additional grantmaking in public policy later in 2021.
About the Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing
The Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing (TPF) is a donor collaborative vehicle developed with the mission of creating and supporting public goods that are critical to the continued growth and fidelity of the impact investing market. The TPF was launched in December 2019 with an initial $14 million in philanthropic capital, which will be used to develop the infrastructure that is needed to mobilize more private capital for impact. The funding will build on existing field building efforts by prioritizing the areas that are chronically underfunded, are best suited for collective action and require additional support beyond that provided by individual grantmakers. Learn more at www.tpfii.org.
About the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance
The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance (Alliance) is dedicated to building the impact investing ecosystem by bridging market gaps and addressing shared challenges. The Alliance's long-term vision is to place measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial return and risk at the center of every investment decision. Learn more at www.impinvalliance.org.
SOURCE Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing
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