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Impact Investing: A Guide for Philanthropists and Social Investors

Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Within the context of, and as a complement to traditional philanthropy, this guide by Northern Trust includes a high-level overview of the field of impact investing by examining several impact investing practices and strategies, namely, program-related investments, mission-related investments, socially responsible investments and social impact bonds. This guide also includes a high-level overview of the new legal entities that philanthropists and social investors are using to support impact investing strategies, such as low-profit limited liability companies, benefit corporations, flexible purpose corporations and, in the United Kingdom, community interest companies. Finally, this guide will examine some of the challenges in implementing and evaluating impact investing  strategies and explore specific points of entry for individuals, trustees of private foundations, managers of family offices and social investors seeking to be more engaged in this burgeoning field. While a comprehensive review of the field of impact investing exceeds the scope of the guide, a robust reference list has been included in the FOR FURTHER READING section. Citations to these reference materials are included throughout the discussion where applicable.

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