Editorial Guidelines

Declaration of Editorial Independence

Agents of Impact are our audience and our beat – and our stakeholders.

ImpactAlpha serves as a vital source of information, education and connection for the investors, entrepreneurs, intermediaries, activists and influencers who are optimizing business and finance for positive social and environmental impact. We call these practitioners and early adopters “Agents of Impact.”

In turn, Agents of Impact are vital to ImpactAlpha. They provide news and tips, contribute guest posts and engage on our podcasts and Agents of Impact conference calls. They expand our perspectives and sharpen our analysis. They provide collective accountability around a shared identity of integrity and purpose. Together, ImpactAlpha and our community of Agents of Impact are creating a new narrative for the use of finance for positive social and environmental impact.

This reciprocity has established us as trusted outsiders and independent insiders. We advocate for the ends while being rigorous about the means. We call out shortcomings and scams in the service of building a better future. We navigate the spirited debates as the market sorts itself, without becoming captive to any faction.

To maintain that trust and independence, we have established guidelines and policies that reflect our commitment to integrity, ethics, transparency, accountability and impact.

Editorial independence

ImpactAlpha maintains editorial control of the content on our channels. We welcome editorial suggestions and feedback from sponsors, investors and readers, but our news judgments and decisions are made independently by our editors and editorial team. As a condition of their investment, our investors have agreed that ImpactAlpha retains full editorial discretion and control of its platform.

With approval, reporters and editors may receive travel-related expenses and registration-fee waivers for their participation in conferences, panels and other external events; such arrangements will not impact the integrity of their coverage.

Conflicts of interest and disclosure

Like any media company, ImpactAlpha has a web of financial and business relationships with partners, sponsors and investors. We aim to disclose relevant and material financial or business relationships between ImpactAlpha and individuals, organizations, or entities mentioned in our articles to give readers the context needed to weigh the content and make their own judgments. If a story involves an investor, board member or business partner, we will disclose that clearly in the article.

Our shareholders include the Ford Foundation, Sorenson Impact Foundation, Common Future, ImpactAssets, The Information (Lessin Media), as well as current and former employees and board members.

ImpactAlpha is a subscription-based publication, giving us not only a direct relationship with our readers, but also a welcome independence from sponsors and advertisers. We do have commercial and philanthropic sponsors who provide supplemental funding as well as expertise that deepens and extends our coverage of key impact beats. We disclose such arrangements in relevant articles, podcasts and Calls. While we engage in a productive and collaborative dialogue with these sponsors, ImpactAlpha maintains editorial control over the content we publish.

Our current thematic sponsors include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Catalytic Capital Consortium (MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Omidyar Network), J&J Impact Ventures and the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance.

We also distribute non-journalistic sponsored content produced by these and other partners. These posts or promotions are clearly labeled and distinguished from ImpactAlpha’s editorial content. In the Brief, for example, these promotions are labeled with orange print.

Acceptance of financial support of any kind does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of sponsors’ or investors’ products, services or opinions.

Staff writers and editors, freelancers and outside contributors are required to disclose to their managers or point of contact any personal or financial conflicts of interest related to their articles and beats, including any investments of $1,000 or more in entities relevant to the subject matter.

Ground rules and corrections

ImpactAlpha is committed to maintaining the highest journalistic standards. We respect our sources and adhere to requests for embargoes and off-the-record or “on background” conversations. “Off the record” means that the information in a conversation can’t be used, nor the source named, but we are free to corroborate the information in other ways. “On background” means the information is usable but without attribution. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all other conversations are considered to be “on the record.”

If a company or individual is portrayed negatively or any kind of mistake or misconduct is described, we make our best efforts to confirm or refute such characterizations or allegations and to reach that person or organization before publication. (We vet overly rosy claims as well).

We strive to be responsive to complex and sensitive issues that can arise in financial reporting, and with interviewees that may not have experience in media relations. We do not share articles for advance review. However we can, and often do, check facts and review quotes with sources to ensure we are presenting proper context and to prevent inadvertent mischaracterizations.

Journalists are human (and deadlines are real), and sometimes we make errors. We strive to quickly make factual or contextual corrections that are brought to our attention. Corrections or grievances sent to [email protected] will be handled by the appropriate editors.