This page compiles tools, frameworks and methodologies used by impact entrepreneurs, impact investing funds and asset managers in the industry.
It can be useful to read through these resources to become familiar with industry terms and learn best practices from commended players in the space:
United Nations – Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
A universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity, the 17 SDGs form the basis of many funds’ impact strategy and reports.
United Nations – SDG Guide
The UN’s guide for organisations wanting to get started with the SDGs, including creating vision statements, needs assessments, costings and preparations for monitoring progress.
PRI – Impact Investing Market Map
Using the UN SDGs and the PRI Reporting Framework, this guide identifies 10 thematic impact investments: energy efficiency; green buildings; renewable energy; sustainable agriculture; sustainable forestry; water; affordable housing; education; health; and inclusive finance. Focusing on medium and large impact investing companies (privately-owned or listed equity firms) in the real economy, it aims to segment the market into these themes each with common definitions, basic criteria and relevant KPIs for tracking and accessing impact.
IFC – Impact Management Principles
The World Bank’s Impact Investment Bank, in consultation with a core group of external stakeholders (impact asset managers, asset owners and industry associations) is developing this resource to establish a common discipline and market consensus around the management of investments for impact and help shape and develop the market.
Calver Impact Capital – Financial Supply Chain Framework
A map for impact investors to understand their position within the industry’s financial supply chain.
Toniic T100 Project
A multi-year study of the portfolios of over 75 Toniic Impact Network members which reveals new insights about impact investing. The T100 Project includes periodic reports, videos and podcasts, and the Toniic Diirectory, a peer-sourced directory of over 1,700 impact investments across all asset classes.
Social Capital – CAAS
Social Capital’s Capital-As-A-Service model aims to make seed investment both efficient and bias-free. It is an interesting project, the learnings of which help shine light on best practices for early-stage investments in a sector which surprisingly still struggles from biases such as founder gender, ethnicity and background.
Case – Smart Impact Capital
A crowd-sourced, scalable, online guidebook that can help impact entrepreneurs be more efficient and effective throughout their investment capital raising journey.
Screening / Due Diligence
Endeavor – Term Sheet Calculator
Term sheets are complicated. This tool helps entrepreneurs receiving their first VC investments understand how changes to certain parts of a contract can radically alter how entrepreneurs and investors will share the money made on the sale of a company.
Big Society Capital – Social Impact Test
This tool is used by Big Society Capital’s investment team to evaluate proposals for investment. Split into two broad sections: Social Impact and Risk, Process and Governance, the tests are based on existing best practice in the social investment market and continue to be refined based on feedback and learning.
Village Capital – Viral Framework
A framework for evaluating a start-up’s investment readiness and aligning the founder and VC perspectives. This process helps identify focus areas for early-stage entrepreneurs to increase their chances of securing funding.
Social Capital – Diligence Tool
Analysis tool for startups to evaluate their product-market fit and customer retention before approaching VCs for funding.
Bridges IMPACT Methodology
A comprehensive methodology and set of tools to help its investment team to make informed decisions when selecting and managing investments that create societal value. The firm hopes that its specialist know-how can serve as a useful tool for others interested in ESG factors and impact and that sharing its methodology will contribute to the growth of the sustainable and impact investment sector. More detail are available here.
A great review of impact measurement frameworks can be found here, and another here
GIIN – IRIS+
One of the industry’s most accepted impact measurement frameworks.
GIIN – Navigating Impact
Created to help investors select both impact strategies and the suitable metrics to indicate performance toward their goals.
GIIN – Impact Measurement Guidelines
A selection of impact measurement guides that support the use of IRIS as well as other impact measurement best practices divided into ‘industry-level’ and ‘sector-specific’ sections.
Operating Principles for Impact Management
The Impact Principles are a framework for investors for the design and implementation of their impact management systems, ensuring that impact considerations are integrated throughout the investment lifecycle.
Science-based Targets Initiative
Over a thousand organizations worldwide are leading the zero-carbon transition by setting emissions reduction targets grounded in climate science through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)
Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF)
A new accounting standard to help investors and financial institutions to assess and disclose the impact on biodiversity of their loans and investments.
Systems Engineering Research Centre
Clean Energy Ventures’ Simple Emissions Reduction Calculator (SERC) provides a quick understanding of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction potential for climate-tech startups.
Frame is building frameworks and a platform for collaboration to help climate investors better assess the impact that innovations they support today will have on greenhouse gas emissions in the future.
Leapfrog Investments – FIIRM
Integrated KPIs that combine financial, environmental, social and governance outcomes to measure and drive company performance. The framework is interesting as the fund embeddeds it as a foundation for due diligence, value creation and performance evaluation at exit.
Root Capital – Client Centric Approach
‘Impact Evaluation That Creates Value for Participants’. Root Capital tries to flip the head on impact measurement, aiming to use it as a tool to create value down stream to entrepreneurs as well as upstream for impact reporting.
Acumen – Lean Data
Low-cost technology and methods to help businesses gather high-quality data on their social performance, customer feedback and behaviour. Through a partnership with Unilever a specific toolkit has also been designed to better understand how programs and services are affecting women and girls across the globe.
Global Value Exchange
Search over 30,000 social impact measurement metrics on this free, crowd sourced database. Enter keywords (like ‘health’ or ‘homeless’) to search 1000’s of outcomes, indicators, and valuations.
Investing For Good – The Good Investor
A practical blueprint for investors looking to enter the social impact investment market – making it easier to successfully invest in organisations delivering positive impact. This guide is structured around incorporating impact assessment into the various stages of the investment process, progressing from the investors’ initial exposure to investment opportunities, through the screening and analysis, and onto making investment decisions, monitoring and evaluating, and reporting on the impact achieved.
Good Finance – Impact and Outcomes Matrix
A practical tool to help organisations to plan and measure their social impact. It includes outcomes and measures for nine outcome areas and 15 beneficiary groups. Whilst focused on the UK, this tool is a useful reference for developing a common language regarding social investment and impact assessment.
Global Reporting Initiative
The GRI Standards represent global best practice for reporting publicly on a range of economic, environmental and social impacts. Sustainability reporting based on the Standards provides information about an organisation’s positive or negative contributions to sustainable development.
The Reporting Exchange
“The global resource for sustainability reporting”. This free online platform provides reliable, comparable information on sustainability reporting requirements and resources across over 70 sectors and 60 countries.
Toniic – Impact Portfolio Tool
An Excel-based tool that enables impact investors to document the relationships between asset classes and the impact of a portfolio of investments. Investors classify every underlying investment by various variables and the tool outputs visual representations of the individual portfolios as well as investment data.