Measuring Impact: Preliminary insights from interviews with impact investors

This research paper – the second of LSE Cities’ Measuring impact beyond financial return research project, draws out points of convergence and divergence in approaches to impact measurement.

Testing out hypotheses set out in the first research paper, it is based on information derived from a series of interviews with established impact investors in the fields of the environment; social enterprise; microfinance; and social impact bonds.

We see emerging signs of three types of impact investors – those that are focused on system building, those that assess each investment on a case by case basis, and those that follow the evidence of what works.

Other key themes emerging are that there seems to be a relatively low level of engagement between impact investors and the ultimate beneficiaries of their social impact; and that the connections, actual or perceived, between non-financial and financial returns are a key factor in determining what impact gets measured, and the effort put into measurement.

Publication date
April 2014
Andrea Colantonio, Neil Reeder
European Investment Bank Institute
The Young Foundation