What are intentions?
Our intentions express a commitment to act in a certain way. They are derived from our values and motivations and inform our impact and financial goals.
Values: One’s judgement of what is important; principles or standards of behavior.
Motivation for impact: A motivating force, stimulus or influence
Impact intention: A determination to act in a certain way
Impact goals: The end towards which effort is directed
Intentions can range from broad commitments – “I want to avoid harm” or “I want to mitigate risk” or “I want to have a positive effect on the world” – to more detailed objectives – “I want to support a speciﬁc group of people, place, outcome” or “I want to address a specific social or environmental challenge”.
There are a range of intentions for managing impact, which can be loosely grouped into four broad types. Each type relates to different performance across the five dimensions.
Don’t miss the investor-specific section of Goals to see how different types of intention translate into the goals of investments.
Read how intentions link to goals here.
Since intentions guide our goals – and managing impact so often means re-setting our goals based on what we learn – sharing our intentions with those we work with fosters trust that we will make the same decisions when it comes to re-setting goals based on what we learn. The decision about whether to share our intentions is ultimately an individual choice for us to make as a customer, enterprise, intermediary or asset owner. Regardless of whether we share our intentions, we do need to share and align our goals.
How do my constraints affect my goals?
Regardless of our intentions, our choices are often limited by certain constraints, including legal requirements, the type of organisation we are, our level of wealth or profitability, our location and our demographics.
What does this mean for investors?
Investors’ intentions and constraints don’t just affect their choice of underlying businesses to invest in, they also guide how investors themselves can contribute to a business’s ability to be impactful. The diagram below shows how intentions and constraints translate into different strategies that investors use to contribute to impact. For a re-cap of these different strategies, return to the section on (contribution).
RS Group’s Impact Report 2016
A perspective on values-driven investment, highlighting how intentions can drive goal-setting but direct experience drives impact management.
The Investment Integration Project (TIIP): Tipping Points 2016
10 tools of intentionality to help investors think through why and how they want to incorporate impact goals into their investment portfolio.
TONIIC: Insights from the frontier of impact investing 2016
This study of aggregated portfolios of more than 50 investors explores their motivations and intentions for investing with impact.
Bringing impact management to life
Impact Management Case Study in Off-Grid EnergyOctober 18, 2017
This case study brings the full impact management process to life from the perspective of Acumen Fund; an investment manager who has made a number of investments in off-grid energy. While impact management is still a work in progress for Acumen, the case study aims to highlight the value of collecting data across all of the dimensions of impact and illustrate how this data is used to re-set goals and improve performance.Read More
The Impact Management GlossaryJuly 10, 2017
When it comes to assessing and managing impact, many terms mean different things to different people, or different words are used to mean the same thing. The glossary is a collaborative effort to reduce possible confusion by showing what different terms mean when they are defined for or by a certain community of practice.Read More
Investor’s Perspective: Constructing a portfolio on the efficient impact-financial frontierOctober 4, 2017
Root Capital has been working with the Impact Management Project to provide guidance for individual funds within a single asset class, who are looking to build a portfolio on the efficient frontier of both financial and impact performance.Read More
Perspective from the Australian marketSeptember 28, 2017
Based on a series of webinars, this downloadable document summarises insights from the sessions, showing how the Australian perspective has informed the global convention.Read More
How do we know if impact has occurred?September 27, 2017
Collecting evidence of impact is an important step towards figuring out which material positive and negative effects are occurring, before making decisions to improve the experience of people and planet.Read More
Investor’s Perspective: Incorporating impact goals into traditional asset allocationAugust 29, 2017
Over the last six months, UBS has been working with the Impact Management Project on a series of model portfolios that illustrate different combinations of impact and financial goals. These portfolios, along with insights gained along the way, are showcased here, in the hope that we can contribute to the ongoing discussion about how best to incorporate impact considerations into asset allocation.Read More