Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

Impact with Punch: The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

Author(s):

December 2010

Community Development Investment Review

After around 40 years of institutional “impact investing” it is distressing that “impact measuring” is hardly de rigueur. While impact investment managers understand clearly how to measure financial returns, the best practices, systems and compliance in measuring the social benefits are anemic, at best. And what does exist often attempts to boil the ocean, measure the unmeasurable, is at odds with operational goals, or is limited to a couple data points or an anecdote. We have tried to tackle this issue with our recently launched double-bottom line venture capital fund, Core Innovation Capital. The following ideas are aspirational for our company as much as they are for this industry.

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