Thematic Impact Investing

Comprehensive sustainable investing strategy in an endowment can include divestment, ESG integration, engagement and thematic impact investing.  With thematic impact investing, endowments can more specifically focus such investments on solutions that are aligned with their institution's mission.


For an introduction to impact investing, view IEN's webinar:

Introduction to Impact Investing | June 29, 2017 

or read:

2019 Annual Impact Investor Survey | Global Impact Investing Network, 2019

Sizing the Impact Investing Market and Core Characteristics of Impact Investing l Global Impact Investing Network, 2019

Understanding The World of Impact Investing l Cambridge Associates, September 2016



Visit IEN's pages on common impact themes that endowments prioritize:

Case Studies

Legislation around program related investments (PRIs) allowed for some private foundations to make mission-aligned investments as part of their 5% required payout.  Many private foundations have since developed more comprehensive approaches to impact across their total portfolio.  Here are some of their case studies:

Rockefeller Brothers Fund 


IEN Briefing Papers

White Paper: Investing in Clean Energy: Campuses and Endowments (2016)

Briefing Paper: Options for Endowment Investment in Solar Energy (2018)

Gender Lens Investing Landscape: Barriers & Opportunities (July 2018)


Past IEN Webinars 

Incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Factors in the Investment Process| November 14, 2018

Addressing Climate Risk & Investing in a Low-Carbon Future Across Asset Classes l October 23rd, 2018

Animal Welfare as an Investment Risk & Opportunity | August 29, 2018

Aligning University Investments With Carbon Reduction Goals in the UK Through Fossil Fuel Divestment | July 16, 2018

First-time Fund Managers in Emerging Markets Bring a New Model to PE in Africa | July 11, 2017

Introduction to Impact Investing | June 29, 2017 

Sustainable Agriculture Investing | May 31, 2017 

Gender Lens Investing | February 17, 2017 

Investing in Clean Energy for Campuses and Endowments | December 13, 2016 

Other Webinars


Additional Resources

Impact Base - ImpactBase is the searchable, online database of impact investment funds and products designed for investors. Fund or product profiles published on ImpactBase gain exposure to the global impact investing community.

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