REPORT BREAKDOWN: "Sizing the Market"

As the impact investing field grows, there's good work underway to better size the market, highlight opportunities, and identify challenges. To celebrate an increase in this attempt at rigor and transparency, we'll break down and summarize the reports we're reading to help you understand what's new.

Each year, the Global Impact Investing Network - GIIN - releases an Annual Report that captures the scale of assets being managed, range of organizations entering the fray, and barriers to further scale.

This month, the GIIN authored "Sizing the Market," a brief and succinct attempt to update shared assumptions around one of our most specific questions:

"How big is the impact investment market?"

The Market is Growing

  • The study estimates that over 1,340 organizations currently manage USD $502 billion in impact investing assets worldwide (as of the end of 2018)

  • This is up from the $228bn estimated in 2018 (GIIN) and $114bn estimated in 2017 (GIIN)

SOURCE: GIIN,  Sizing the Market  (April 2019)

SOURCE: GIIN, Sizing the Market (April 2019)

Asset Management is the Name of the Game

SOURCE: GIIN,  Sizing the Market  (April 2019)

SOURCE: GIIN, Sizing the Market (April 2019)

Data Collection - and reliability - is still a challenge

  • From the list of 1,340 organizations, the GIIN team attained information - directly - from 750 organizations

  • The team needed to estimate AUM from ~600 organizations.

  • All data is still self-reported

    • That creates some concern about the accuracy and reliability of data

    • Impact - and intentionality- are subjective. An evolving definition of impact for each individual organization means one investor can include investments that another would not