Lessons from Early Efforts in Impact Investing

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 8:00am - 10:00am CDT
Northwest Area Foundation, 60 Plato Blvd E, Suite 400, St Paul, MN 55107

Mission-related investing has grown substantially in recent years and many institutions are eager to create new programs incorporating impact into the investment portfolio. Although most organizations are relatively new to the field, a number of institutions have been involved in mission investing for more than a decade and the lessons learned through those early efforts can help inform those considering mission investing or in the early stages of implementation.

The session is a conversation between Amy Jensen, Investment Director at the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF) and Tom Woelfel, Direct at PCV InSight. PCV has completed impact assessment on both individual investments and portfolios of mission related investments for a broad range of organizations. Amy and Tom will discuss the findings from the recently released 10-year assessment of NWAF’s first mission-related investment as well as how other lessons from the field.

The session is appropriate for current mission investors and those considering impact investing or impact assessment. As a meeting of the Mission Investing Network, it is open for free to all MCF members as a member benefit. 

Topics will include:

·         Special considerations for place based investors

·         The challenge of long-term investment horizons and staff and board turnover

·         Due diligence considerations

·         The evolution of impact assessment and reporting

PCV InSight has decades of experience conducting impact measurement and third-party evaluation for clients like CalPERS, Northwest Area Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) and Northern California Community Loan Fund. PCV understands that impact measurement remains an area of uncertainty and a pain point for many and can assist investors working to overcome these barriers and strive to advance the practice of impact measurement throughout the impact investing community.

Tom Woelfel, Pacific Community Ventures

Tom Woelfel is the Director of PCV Insight – PCV’s global research and consulting practice in impact investing. In this role, Tom leads and manages PCV InSight’s impact evaluation consulting services, providing research, analysis, and reporting to prominent institutional investors, corporations, foundations, private equity funds, and CDFIs. In addition to conducting impact evaluation for external clients, Tom oversees the tracking and reporting of PCV’s own impact for its Small Business Advising Integrated Loan Fund, Business Advising program, and affiliated impact investing equity fund, Pacific Community Management.

Prior to joining PCV, Tom served as an Associate at Development Planning and Financing Group, where he advised clients on development projects and worked with developers and municipalities on a wide-range of development issues. While at DPFG, Tom conducted a variety of financial analyses for clients, including economic benefit analyses, fiscal impact analyses, and development fee credit and reimbursement analyses. Prior to his work at DPFG, Tom worked for the Federal Office of the California Governor where he conducted federal policy research on issues of importance to the State of California.

Tom serves on the foundation research committee of The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF), a US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in sustainable and responsible investing. He holds a BS with honors in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis.