Social-Impact investing pay it forward

Social Impact Investing — Pay it Forward

Did you know that many investment funds now have a portion of their portfolio dedicated to social responsibility? As the world changes, so does the way we invest. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a continuously evolving model of incorporating sustainable business practices and plans that have a positive impact on the world in social, economic, or environmental ways.

According to Business News Daily, being socially conscious is not only good for the world and brings positive change, but it is also increasingly important for a company’s public image. “Consumers, employees, and stakeholders are beginning to prioritize CSR when choosing a brand or company. They are holding corporations accountable for effecting social change with their business beliefs, practices, and profits.”

To give you a broad idea of how important corporate social responsibility is to people, Cone Communications, a Porter Novelli company in Boston, did a study on CSR in 2017 which found that 87% of Americans will purchase from a company because that company advocated for an issue they care about – and 78% of American consumers believe it is vital for companies to stand up for important social justice issues.

How does this effect investing?

Many investment funds and companies are now specializing in social impact investing, and today I want to showcase two specific firms serving separate sectors of the industry that are making are a positive difference in the world.

The first is Global Partnerships. Global Partnerships focuses on institutional investing. Their Social Investment Funds make loans to socially responsible businesses such as microfinance institutions, agricultural cooperatives, and solar light manufacturers that provide people living in poverty with essential products and services.

Rick Beckett is the CEO of Global Partnerships and has been leading their impact initiatives since 2006. He was previously a partner in McKinsey & Company,  is a highly experienced and thoughtful business leader, and has served on the boards of directors of numerous privately held portfolio companies and not-for-profit organizations, including Direct Relief International and The Initiative for Global Development.

The other firm I want to highlight is Uplift Investing. Uplift Investing focuses on individuals investing their personal money and putting it to work where it will make a positive impact on the world. They believe that by investing in projects and companies that take active roles in sustainability and ethical practices, their clients safeguard their financial future along with making a positive impact.

Syl Yip founded Uplift Investing in 2017. She holds an MBA and completed exams for Series 7, 63, 65, 52 and 53 licenses, level l I of CFA (Charter Financial Analyst), FRM (Financial Risk Manager) and CAIA (Charter Alternative Investment Analyst). Yip had also served for eight years as the Treasurer and a Board member of Institution for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a Washington DC based leading think tank that focuses on advancing women’s status through social science research, policy analysis, and public education.

Corporate social responsibility is continuing to play a larger part in today’s business models. This phenomenon has given rise to both institutional and personal wealth aligning their values with investment strategies that consider improving social and environmental consequences and directing money toward the positive changes investors desire.

Let’s be thankful for all those individuals and companies who do the right thing either through deeds or investments.