Monetizing Impact: Introducing LIIF’s Social Impact Calculator
To better assess how its work is improving the lives of low-income children and families, the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) today announced it is developing a new “Social Impact Calculator,” a first-of-its-kind tool that puts a dollar value on the social impact of its investments. LIIF announced the calculator as part of its Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in Denver and a plenary session at SOCAP Health in New York City, two of the nation’s most important social impact gatherings. At the events, LIIF released the methodology behind the calculator, and in the coming weeks, LIIF will release an online version of the calculator as an “open source” tool in an effort to encourage other organizations to consider the largely unmeasured social impact their work.
“This tool was developed by LIIF, for LIIF, as another way for us to assess the value of our investments to make sure we are achieving our goals,” said Nancy O. Andrews, President and CEO of the Low Income Investment Fund. “While the formulas behind the Social Impact Calculator are specific to our work, we believe the methodology behind them will be useful to others in assessing the value of their own efforts in new ways.”
LIIF focuses its investments in five core areas: affordable housing, quality child care, quality education, improved health and equitable transit-oriented development. Over the past 30 years, it has invested $1.5 billion dollars and served 1.7 million people. Using an “impact by proxy” approach of its new calculator, LIIF is now able to assess its social impact at more than $30 billion.
Why Measure Social Impact?
The community development finance sector has invested more than $40 billion in a range of strategies that create healthy neighborhoods and economic opportunities for individuals. However, the primary approach to measuring success to date has been to count outputs—such as number of housing units developed—rather than evaluate performance on generating positive social outcomes.
In the current fiscal and policy climate, a clearly understood and meaningful approach to measuring value is critical for three key reasons:
1. Making a stronger case and potentially unlocking additional capital for community development investments—especially with new partners, such as health institutions;
2. Channeling public and private investments to the highest impact strategies and approaches; and
3. Encouraging a shift in practice and mental models of community development practitioners, to define success in terms of achieving specific social outcomes.
For more information, visit www.liifund.org/calculator.
About the Low Income Investment Fund
The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) invests capital to support healthy families and communities. Since 1984, LIIF has served 1.7 million people by investing $1.5 billion. Over its history, LIIF has provided financing and technical assistance to create and preserve affordable housing, child care centers, schools, healthy food retail, health clinics and transit-oriented development in distressed neighborhoods nationwide. LIIF’s work has generated $30 billion in family income and societal benefits. LIIF has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. For more information about LIIF, visit www.liifund.org.
About the Clinton Global Initiative America
The Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America), a program of the Clinton Global Initiative, addresses economic recovery in the United States. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made over 300 commitments valued at more than $15 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders year-round and at its Annual Meeting to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI also convenes CGI University, which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their communities and around the world. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,800 Commitments to Action, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $103 billion For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
About SOCAP Health
SOCAP Health is a two-day gathering of leaders from banking and finance, social enterprise, impact investing, health and medical care, and community development. Speakers from leading groups explore how small entrepreneurs are stacking up next to large health care vendors; how new disruptions in the food market can narrow existing disparities; and how health can be both an investment and a measured return.
SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) is dedicated to increasing the flow of capital toward social good. It’s unique approach emphasizes cross-sector convening and gathers voices across a broad spectrum to catalyze unexpected connections. From the leading edge to established players, SOCAP brings together global innovators, investors, foundations, governments, institutions, and social entrepreneurs to build the world we want to leave to future generations. SOCAP actively seek out opportunities to accelerate the market at the intersection of money and meaning and, in pursuit of that goal, have convened more than 10,000 people since its founding in 2008. To Learn more visit www.socialcapitalmarkets.net.
- Learn more about the Social Impact Calculator
- Read the Methodology behind the calculator
- Watch the Calculator Intro Video
- Learn more about SOCAP Health
- Learn more about CGI America