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Impact Investing Evaluation Report

Based on the premise that international aid and public spending will never be enough to adequately fund and scale solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, the Rockefeller Foundation has, since 2008, supported the development of a global impact investing industry—an industry whose purpose is to enable the investment of capital with the intent to generate positive social impact beyond financial return. Over the past five years, the Foundation’s Impact Investing Initiative has awarded grants and program-related investments (PRIs) aimed at accelerating the development and growth of the impact
investing industry.

In particular, the Foundation’s support aims to achieve four major outcomes: 1) Catalyze collective action platforms that help impact investors work together more effectively on activities such as standard setting, advocacy and marketing; 2) Develop industry “infrastructure,” such as standards and rating systems; 3) Support scaling of intermediaries ranging from private equity funds to secondary market facilities; and 4) Contribute to fundamental research and advocacy necessary to grow the fi eld of impact investing.

In 2011, as part of our Foundation-wide commitment to learning and accountability to our grantees, partners and stakeholders, we undertook an independent evaluation of the work of the Impact Investing Initiative to assess our progress in achieving these outcomes and to inform our actions going forward. Conducted by E.T. Jackson and Associates, this independent evaluation highlights a number of early successes and remaining challenges, many of which will shape our activities in the months and years to come.

We are pleased to share the results of this evaluation with our partners and stakeholders, and to contribute to the broader learning process in this new and rapidly growing field. It is clear from our evaluation and the related scan report, and from the growing body of research on impact investing, that there exists great momentum and inspiring leadership in this dynamic field. More significantly, there are promising signs here that together we can play an important role in bringing about a more sustainable, resilient and equitable future for humankind.