Open call to sign the 'Charter of investors for impact'

Open call to sign the 'Charter of investors for impact'
2020. January
Business Collaboration Sustainability
Clarity about impact investing is fundamental for the credibility and progress of the entire social innovation ecosystem.
Szilvia Szabó

Szilvia Szabó Author

Columnist, Editor
Managing editor, columnist, Business Spirit Platform and Profit with Purpose magazine

As part of its '15 years of Impact' report, European Venture Philanthropic Association (EVPA) has launched the 'Charter of Investors for Impact' which sets out ten principles that define and drive investors for impact.

Looking back at the last 15 years, and forward to the next era, as more capital becomes available for solving social issues, and more and diverse players enter the impact ecosystem. Questions arise regarding impact washing and impact integrity, the latter being fundamental for the credibility of the entire social impact investment movement. For this reason, it is crucial to improve clarity around the role of the different capital providers, and on how they can best contribute to making lasting, positive change.

10 principles of the 'Charter of Investors for Impact':

1) are problem-focused and solutions-oriented, innovating the way to tackle societal challenges

2) put the final beneficiaries at the centre of the solutions

3) are highly engaged for the long term, striving for lasting impact

4) take risks that most others are not prepared to take

5) measure and manage social impact

6) provide extensive non-financial support

7) tailor their financial support to the needs and characteristics of social purpose organisations

8) proactively enhance collaboration with others

9) work to foster the mobilisation of resources in the social impact ecosystem

10) uphold high ethical standards

You can download the '15 years of impact' report here.

Clear identity for impact investors


EVPA started 15 years ago with only a few venture capitalist who wanted to apply the spirit of investing in philanthropy. Now when you look around, you’ll see foundations, impact funds accelerators and even government programmes moving into the direction of impact investing.

“Impact investing was a great term and created a lot of traction but we needed to define a clear identity,” says CEO and Board Member of EVPA, Steven Serneel.

It can mean many things from doing negative due diligence to philanthropic investments. In short, there are two main approaches:

Investing with Impact - Investors here have access to larger pools of resources but need to guarantee a certain financial return on their investments alongside the positive impact they have the intention to generate. The level of risk that investors with impact can take is often limited because of their mandates.

Investing for Impact - These investors are capital providers that take risks that no one else can take, putting the social purpose organisation (SPO) or the social innovation and the end beneficiaries at the centre. Investors for impact are, hence, those that apply more extensively the venture philanthropy approach, including impact measurement and management, non-financial support and tailored financing.

Charter of investors for impact


“I think that now, more than ever, we need to have more clarity on what is impact investing and how it can contribute to build a better economy and solve emerging social, environmental challenges we are facing. In that way, we can avoid to over complicate things and get things done.

For that purpose, EVPA created a charter for investors for impact with some ‘golden guidelines’ to keep impact at the core of their investment strategy” says Jamy Goewie social entrepreneur and expert at EVPA.

This document was co-developed with EVPA members, practitioners and experts, to reflect their uniqueness and presents ten principles that define and drive the way of working of investors for impact.

Alongside the Charter, the “Roadmap for investors for impact”, identifies three key areas of actions upon which investors for impact should work on and devote their energies and resources in the years to come: data, knowledge and expertise alongside with thought leadership.

As the Charter provides a clear identity to investors for impact, the Roadmap shows their way forward.

Problems are more complex today, and we need more collaboration to come up with viable solutions to address critical social, environmental challenges of our time.

Sign the 'Charter of Investors for Impact' to endorse a set of guiding principles for all those on the journey of Investing for Impact!

Szilvia Szabó

Szilvia Szabó Author

Columnist, Editor
Managing editor, columnist, Business Spirit Platform and Profit with Purpose magazine