Having made the claim that the obsolescence of sector distinctions is the future of social investing, it may not seem appropriate to organize the most important social investing analysis, case studies, and programs thus. But for now, the distinctions are still relevant. And to the extent the distinctions seem to be breaking down (e.g., it might seem possible to shift one citation from one sector to another), we can see social investing convergence happening right before our eyes.
You may also notice that the Public Sector column of the table is much shorter than the private and non-profit sector columns. That’s no coincidence either. This simplistic analysis suggests that that public sector is the laggard, presenting the most orthodoxies and sector prejudices.
We hope you will find this resource guide useful and stimulating. This guide is not intended to be exhaustive–surely there are many more resources than any one guide could usefully capture. The citations below are merely a collection of resources we think are useful. We would like to solicit your help in expanding this list of high quality resources as the PSC Social Investing Research Initiative progresses. Please send us your suggestions, and let us know what you think!
Public Sector Private Sector Non-Profit Sector
Low Income Housing Tax Credit Social Investment Forum: 2003 Trends Non-Profit Revenue and Program-Related Investments
USDA Rural Utility Service McKinsey on Social Angel Investors Financial Returns in Philanthropy
Sarbanes-Oxley for Nonprofits Lending to Non-Profits Foundation Investment-Grant Consolidation
Community Reinvestment Act Performance Deutsche Bank Community Development Group
Time Magazine article Historical Perspective on Philanthropy Trends
Regulating community development equity and debt investments Princeton Social Capital Cross-sector Management and Policy Questions
Community development Fiscal Impact Tool Lessons from Private Sector to teach the Non-profit Sector A Social Financial Services Industry
US Dept. of Treasury CDFI Fund Non-Profit Sector Needs a Financial Services Industry Catalog of Social Investing Activities
US Dept. of Treasury New Markets Tax Credit McKinsey: Corporate to Non-Profit Skills Transfer Blended Value Policy Issues
Intergovernmental Organizations’ Corporate Codes of Conduct Bridgespan: “Bridging the For-Profit and Nonprofit Sectors” Foundation Report on Blurred Boundaries
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Social Responsibility in Business – Issue Briefs Program-Related Investment Defined
Private Investment in Community Development Understanding CDFIs
Social Venture Capital – CCVI CDFI Policy Topics
Social Venture Capital – Calvert Jargon Busting!
Bringing Biotech to the Developing World Social Enterprise: Earned Income for Non-Profits
Social Marketing: Adapting Social Issues to Corporate Marketing Social Marketing: Adapting Private Sector Expertise to Social Issues
Limitations of Private Sector Analogies One Analytic Model Analogies
Corporate-Non-profit Partnership Case Studies Social Investing Convergence Theory
Corporate Social Responsibility Publications Social (and Environmental) Metrics
Open Source Technology for Social Purpose Venture Philanthropy: Using Business Principles to Guide Philanthropy: New Profit, Inc. Venture Philanthropy Partners
Social Return on Investment (SROI)
There are certainly other useful ways to understand social investing.
For example, Jed Emerson, a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate
School of Business, refers to “five silos of related activity”:
1. Corporate Social Responsibility,
2. Social Enterprise,
3. Social Investing [more narrowly defined],
4. Strategic/Effective Philanthropy, and
5. Sustainable Development.
(Blended Value Map, Oct. 2003).
But Emerson’s silos can be easily matched up with the public, private
and non-profit sectors: corporate social responsibility is largely
contained within the private sector, and effective philanthropy is the
domain of the non-profit sector. The public sector, however, is not
heavily emphasized in Emerson’s analysis, but nor is it in this
Others think of a continuum between profit and social impact, and the
ability to to make an investment that strikes a certain balance
anywhere along that spectrum. But the continuum between profit and
social impact also does not serve us because social investing is
premised on the notion that there is no necessary trade off. Profit and
social impact can co-exist, and even mutually reinforce one another.
There are many imbalanced examples (i.e., all profit, no genuine social
impact; or all social impact with very little revenue), but if we
define social investing according to these skewed examples, there will
be no conceptual room for social investing with a strong double bottom