ATLANTA – October 4, 2018 – Nearly two years after hatching the idea, a collaborative of community leaders announces the launch of the Georgia Social Impact Map, an interactive platform designed to connect and educate stakeholders interested in accelerating impact investing for social outcomes. Intended as a resource for communities around the state, the Map connects new forms of capital to sustaining and scaling solutions to social challenges.
The founding group, the Georgia Social Impact Collaborative (GSIC), identified the relevant players – social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, investors, intermediaries, and enablers – and asked them what they care about – education, health issues, homelessness, etc. With this, GSIC created the ecosystem map, a searchable network of organizations, partners and supporters doing good work in the various social sectors. The platform also profiles stories of social enterprises and how they use impact capital to drive their businesses and achieve greater social outcomes, as well as how investors and intermediaries are helping deploy mission-oriented money to build greater sustainability.
On October 4, nearly 140 of those stakeholders turned out for an event to learn about the launch of the ecosystem map. The year-long data collection process, run by Advantage Consulting, produced a comprehensive report based on over 250 live interviews and surveys of social enterprises (nonprofit and for-profit), investors and supporting organizations of all types. The report found that Georgians have great interest in impact investing, and social enterprises have significant need for additional capital.
According to Sam Moss, chairman of GSIC, “though great work is being done every day by nonprofits and social enterprises around this state, we found that they often don’t have adequate access to impact capital and other resources. We can change this and that’s why we created the ecosystem map.” The members of GSIC, its advisory committees and funders represent over 70 actively engaged organizations of all types, including banks, nonprofits, family and national foundations, corporate partners, the public sector, impact investors, angel and venture investors and many others.
The launch event also offered a chance to learn from a true impact investing pioneer, Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and co-founder of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). After his keynote address, Antony remarked that “if the impact investing sector is a 100-yard dash, all of us are only on the 3-yard line. So GSIC’s ecosystem map gives Georgia a real opportunity to be a leader in place-based impact investing”. And then he urged “if you haven’t already, you need to join the map!” NFF has recently invested in the expansion of several Georgia-based social enterprises, including CHRIS 180 and First Step Staffing.
The practice of using impact investing as a tool for scaling social solutions has exploded in recent decades. Defined as investing that produces both a financial as well as a social return, impact investments domestically exceeded $8.7 trillion in 2016, according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF). While Georgia’s participation in the impact investing space has lagged, the GSIC map is well positioned to turn that around. Recognizing that Georgia has vast resources and growing opportunities, the founders of GSIC have established a strong foundation for the map to become a sustainable and expanding resource to serve veteran as well as new investors and enterprises searching for ways to tackle social issues of common concern. The ultimate result should be much greater social outcomes for all Georgians.
To join the Map, go to gasocialimpact.com/join-the-map/!
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About the Georgia Social Impact Collaborative
In late 2016, a group of Georgia’s community leaders, representing a diverse range of constituencies, came together to confront a shared concern that impact investing was not developing in Georgia at the pace seen elsewhere. The Georgia Social Impact Collaborative (GSIC) was formed as a collaborative effort to connect, educate and inspire stakeholders for the purpose of accelerating the development of Georgia’s impact investing ecosystem.
Nonprofit Finance Fund® (NFF®)
NFF advances missions and social progress in underserved communities through financing, consulting, partnerships, and knowledge-sharing that empower leaders, organizations, and ideas. A leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), NFF currently manages over $310 million. Since 1980, NFF has provided almost $700 million in financing and access to additional capital in support of over $2.3 billion in projects for thousands of organizations nationwide.
For more information, please contact Jonny Newburgh at j[email protected].