The Impact Investing Institute’s vision is for lives to improve, as more people choose to use their savings and investments to help solve social and environmental challenges, while seeking a financial return. Our aim is to accelerate the growth and improve the effectiveness of the impact investing market in the UK and globally. We exist to encourage more investment made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
We are an independent, non-profit organisation. We focus on five key areas of work to drive more impact capital to go where it is needed; to make capital more accountable and to empower people to save and invest in line with their values:
- Awareness: We increase awareness and understanding of impact investing so that more people choose to save and invest with impact
- Education: We increase competency in impact investing so more investors incorporate impact into their investment decisions
- Research: We make evidence and data around impact investing accessible so it can be used to drive the investment market
- Measurement, management and reporting: We work on the development and adoption of high-quality reporting standards so that businesses and organisations incorporate impact at the heart of their business models
- Policy and advocacy: We enable policies and regulations that support impact investing
All our work is funded voluntarily through statutory grants, trusts, foundations, institutional donors, corporate organisations, and individual donors[i]. The Institute also benefits from pro-bono and in-kind support provided by several organisations. In raising these funds, we will share our vision, our plan of work and seek to engage as many supporters as possible.
The Institute recognises its responsibilities to a broad set of stakeholders to align funding choices with its [mission and strategy] and minimise the potential for reputational risk arising strategic funding relationships and partnerships.
The purpose of this policy is to articulate the Institute’s processes and guard rails for all fundraising and partnership activity.
2. Policy Parameters
In the pursuit of new sources of revenue and support, the Institute will enter into new funding arrangements that allow it to meet its responsibilities to stakeholders. The Institute will only accept financial support from funders and donors on the following conditions:
- The board and executive team are satisfied that there is unlikely to be adverse publicity from entering into a formal relationship
- The funder or donor has agreed that it will not attempt to influence the Institute’s policy or actions either explicitly or implicitly
- The funding is for activity that is aligned with the Institute’s strategic focus
- The funds and initiative reflect the Institute’s core values of: Inclusiveness, Independence, and Integrity
In this policy, fundraising and partnerships refer to the engagement of individuals and organisations to financially and non-financially support the Institute’s work. In our fundraising, we strive to give our supporters the best experience we can, so that together we can accelerate the growth and improve the effectiveness of the impact investing market in the UK and globally. It is critical that our fundraising is transparent, ethical and responsible.
This document forms our agreement with our supporters across the UK and globally on how we will undertake our fundraising activities.
The Institute will not accept any funding or support from organisations or individuals directly involved in activities that are contrary to the organisation’s objectives and values – Inclusiveness, Independence and Integrity. For the avoidance of doubt, the Institute will not accept funding where the donation:
- Is known to be associated with criminal sources and/or illegal activity
- Would help further a donor’s personal objectives, which conflicts with those of the Institute
- Could lead to a decline in support for the Institute
- Would otherwise impact adversely on the Institute’s reputation
4. Acceptance Criteria
When assessing a potential new source of funding and before signing a new funding agreement, the Executive Team will:
- Provide to the board an overview of the funder, source of funds, any conditions of funding
- Check compliance with all relevant legislation, including money laundering rules, the Bribery Act and Code of Fundraising Practice
- Ensure that the grant agreement has been reviewed by the CEO, Operations Manager, and Programme Manager(s)
Where the grant is over £500k, the Chair of the board must review the application and confirm he or she is happy that it meets the criteria set out in this policy.
This statement of policy provides a set of institutional guard rails. Any final decisions will be governed by a majority vote of the Institute’s board. It is the duty of the board to consider potential conflicts of interest with regards to funding or donations, and for the board to act in the best interests of the Institute at all times.
6. Due Diligence
The Institute intends to conform with the ‘Know Your Donor’ principles developed by the Charity Commission[ii]:
- ‘identify’ – know who you are dealing with
- ‘verify’ – where reasonable and the risks are high, verify identities
- ‘know what the organisation’s or individual’s business is’ and can be assured this is appropriate for the charity to be involved with
- ‘know what their specific business is with your charity’ and have confidence they will deliver what you want them to
- ‘watch out’ for unusual or suspicious activities, conduct or requests
The Institute will endeavour to review any publicly held information. We expect any organisation giving us funding or support to confirm by contract that they are not involved in any of the activities as set above in Point 3.
The Institute’s board may consider carrying out a due diligence enquiry on a pledged funding or support depending on the risk, including the size and nature of the funding or support, and whether it appears to have any suspicious characteristics. The enquiry will be based on the ‘Know your donor – key questions’ as developed by the Charity Commission[iii].
[i] Current funders as at March 2021 include institutions and corporates (financial services organisations). It is our intention to also secure funding from the other voluntary sources listed.