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The Power of Impact Investing

Putting Markets to Work for Profit and Global Good

Judith Rodin and Margot Brandenburg

“Impact investing can be a powerful instrument of change.”
—Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Margot Brandenburg, in the introduction

A new wave of investors is using impact investing to address some of the greatest challenges of our time—from climate change and water scarcity to lack of access to health care, education, and affordable housing—with the intention of also generating a financial return.

This couldn’t happen at a more critical time. While philanthropy continues to be a transformative force for good, global philanthropic funds, even when combined with the development or aid budgets of many national governments, add up to mere billions of dollars. Meanwhile, the cost of solving the world’s problems runs into the trillions.

In The Power of Impact Investing, Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin and Margot Brandenburg, two of the foremost experts in the field, explain what impact investing is, how it compares to philanthropy and traditional investments, where opportunities are evolving around the world, and how to get started.

By sharing moving stories of impact investors and the exciting social enterprises benefiting from these investments, Rodin and Brandenburg offer a compelling resource for anyone interested in better understanding the power of impact investing—including retail investors, high-net-worth individuals, and heads of family offices, foundations, banks, and pension funds—while also offering experienced impact investors an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and benefit from the perspectives of other investors.

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About the Authors

Judith Rodin

Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation, 2005–2017, and President Emerita, University of Pennsylvania, is a pioneer, innovator, change-maker and global thought-leader. For over two decades Rodin led and transformed two global institutions: The Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania. A ground-breaking executive throughout her career, Dr. Rodin was the first woman named to lead an Ivy League Institution and was the first woman to serve as The Rockefeller Foundation ... More

Margot Brandenburg

Margot Brandenburg is founder of MyStrongHome, a nonprofit project housed at the Community Foundation of New Jersey. She was formerly senior associate director at the Rockefeller Foundation, where she managed its impact investing initiative.  She also chairs the board of Brooklyn Cooperative Credit Union and is adjunct faculty at New York University’s Stern School of Business. ... More

Praise

“In The Power of Impact Investing, Judith Rodin and Margot Brandenburg demonstrate that impact investing has the power to provide sustainable solutions to the world’s toughest problems. In addition to laying out the landscape of opportunity for different types of investors, they tell stories of impact investors who are creating social impact and of enterprises benefiting from the partnership. Both Judith and Margot’s voices are critical to this emerging field.”

—Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO & Founder, Acumen

“A welcoming invitation to join a global movement that uses investment dollars—as opposed to relying on government or philanthropic grant funding—to solve intractable social and environmental problems. The book includes many recent examples of impact investing… The broad accessibility of their book, I believe, will allow it to play an important role in spreading the message about impact investing to new audiences. Because the stories that the authors tell have universal appeal, I have no doubt that the book itself will have a big impact.”

—Cathy Clark, Stanford Social Innovation Review

“This lucid, well-written work sums up the state of impact investing in a digestible 125 pages. It stands out as a definitive resource that delivers a strategic and expansive perspective on this emerging field and its important role in shaping the global landscape, while also providing interesting and relatable examples that bring the concept of impact investing to life. But the book’s greatest strength is its honest, highly astute commentary on what is really going on in the world of impact investing…. The Power of Impact Investing is an important book that comes at an important time.”

—Jem Hudson, Founder and CEO, Caldy Group

“Easy to read with minimal jargon and insights from compelling conversations with investors, intermediaries, and philanthropists alike…. This book provides a broad update on current developments and a generally optimistic view of impact investing’s potential for putting markets to work for global good.”

—Philo Alto, Founder and CEO, Asia Value Advisors

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