Policy Corner | August 12, 2021

Policy Corner: A partnership between the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and ImpactAlpha

Fran Seegull

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Guest Author

Fran Seegull

To make progress toward addressing our shared social, economic and environmental challenges, we must proactively engage with the public sector to create an enabling environment for truly impactful business and investment decisions. 

“We can accomplish more in partnership than we ever could achieve on our own,” Darren Walker, chair of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and president of the Ford Foundation said in helping launch the Alliance in 2017. 

Since then, partnerships between public policymakers and private investors have grown in importance. Government policy shapes the rules upon which all businesses, investors and financial institutions rely. 

In that spirit of collective learning and proactive engagement, the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance is excited to collaborate with ImpactAlpha to establish the new Policy Corner as a resource to advance understanding of the policy intersections with the pivotal work of impact investors and entrepreneurs. By sharing policy updates and expert insights, we will promote engagement on the role of public policy in our field. 

Public policy has been a driving force in catalyzing private capital for public good for the past half-century, yet policy has often been overlooked as a lever for change among members of the impact investing community. That reflects frustration with the pace of policymaking or skepticism at the potential for bipartisan agreement, even though the principles of impact investing have resonated broadly across the political divide. 

Policy priorities

In the last year of crises, innovative cross-sector solutions to our most pressing global challenges have taken on even more significance. From strengthening bedrock policies like the Community Reinvestment Act, to fortifying critical small business lenders like community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions, impact investors have a role to play in policies to support the economic revitalization of underserved communities.

On the verge of historic investments in U.S. infrastructure, we must also reimagine how the public and private sectors can co-invest in inclusive economic growth, including by leveraging the lessons of international development finance here at home. 

And as global regulators turn their attention to impact transparency and corporate accountability to workers, communities and the environment, it is critical that we help carry mandated environmental, social and governance, or ESG, disclosure over the finish line.

Through this partnership with ImpactAlpha, we aim to advance the engagement around these policy priorities and others necessary for building a just and equitable recovery. We invite ImpactAlpha’s audience to join us in these efforts.