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
Signposting to the shared fundamentals: B Impact AssessmentDecember 15, 2017
We highlight how the shared fundamentals of the Impact Management Project align with the methodology of the B Impact Assessment - and outline next steps for the collaboration.Read More
Guidance on engaging all affected stakeholdersDecember 12, 2017
How can we really understand and be accountable for the effects of an investment or enterprise’s activities, without understanding the experience of those affected by it? Download guidance on stakeholder engagement and read more about work underway to create survey questions across the five dimensions.Read More
How do we know if we’re contributing to the SDGs?December 1, 2017
To understand an enterprise’s contribution to the SDGs, we need to understand performance across the five dimensions of impact.Read More
Signposting to the shared fundamentals: PPINovember 8, 2017
Based on the Impact Management Project, where is your tool or framework most useful? Read Julie Peachey's new blog about the PPI and where it fits within the five dimensions of impact.Read More
Phase 2: From Theory to PracticeNovember 6, 2017
The next phase of the Impact Management Project is underway. The objective is to make the practice of impact management as easy-to-understand and accessible as possible. It’s time to move from conceptual agreement to practical application. Phase 2 runs through September 2018, and the project will continue to be multi-disciplinary and collaborative. Read on to make sure you’re involved in shaping what comes next.Read More
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