A budding concept for both business and charity is currently gaining steam and encouraging individuals and corporate groups to “put their money where their heart is.” This concept is called impact investing, which calls for consumers to support products and services that also address various social issues. 

Impact investing is a relatively new concept that holds so much potential both for investors and of course, the charity or cause that they support. The process works much like a real donation—you channel a portion of your money toward organizations that address social issues.

But unlike donations, impact investing is pretty much like a business venture. There’s a big chance to make a profit and maybe enjoy a big return on investment someday once the group you support goes public. Of course, more than the money, it’s the difference you make that basically delivers the biggest impact, allowing an individual and/or a company to do a lot of good.

Born out of this concept is yet another brilliant business notion: transparent marketplaces. For impact investing businesses to succeed, they need to have a measurable achievement that will determine if a project has been successful or not. This success is important, especially among stakeholders who still want to see some financial gains while doing social work.

Most impact investing opportunities have figures that are updated and shared on a website. Organizations like the Case Foundation, which was started by AOL founders Steve and Jean Case, showcase their progress and reach via websites like Impact Investing Map, which offers a comprehensive view of data made publicly available by impact investment businesses.

Here, one can see that a significant number of impact investing businesses have already contributed $17.9 billion in the market. These investments cover social and philanthropic causes like access to education and clean water, agriculture, affordable housing, health improvement and human rights protection, among others.

The beauty of being part of the transparent market sector is that data is readily available for people when they are looking for a company to support. There’s already a wealth of information online and sites like Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) providing suggestions. Impact investment players are encouraged to exchange knowledge, share good practice, and basically help out businesses and social causes find success.

Sharing of this knowledge is actually important for impact investments to thrive because investors are not the only ones who depend on these businesses but also the people or community that they help. It’s a beautiful concept where almost all people concerned wins.

Choosing where to invest

Now comes the big question: Which impact investment opportunity should you pursue? There are a number of companies to consider, all of which are worth contemplating.

Bamboo Capital Partners, for example, is a fund managing company that has invested in a company called BBOXX, which offers the technology to install solar systems in remote places in Africa and other developing nations. Through Bamboo Capital Partners, investors are encouraged to fund BBOXX in exchange for profit.

Out Leadership, on the other hand, reaches out to investors to help build their talent portfolio, so they can help encourage companies to be more inclusive and bridge the gap on gender inequality. This company recommends talents from the LGBTQ community for key positions in various corporations.

Exponential, Inc. (XPO²) is a cause-related technology marketing startup founded by Dom Einhorn, a French-American entrepreneur. It offers an innovative way to do impact investing. Believing that foundations and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) won’t be able to sustain operations if they continue to rely on dole outs and donations, Einhorn conceptualized the revolutionary cashless contributions.

XPO2’s Mission to Impact 1 Billion Lives…

YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn0OS0cJ-As&t=14s]

By partnering with XPO2, charities and NGOs get funding when people purchase products from the company’s participating merchants’ websites. Contributors just need to install XPO2’s cashless contribution web browser extension, choose an NGO they want to support, and shop with their favorite brands. A portion of their purchases is then contributed directly to their chosen groups. Through e-commerce, nonprofit groups get to leverage in the healthy consumer market that’s expected to rake in sales of about $4 trillion by the year 2020.

Along with this, the company kicked off its own rewards-based crowdfunding campaign, which will enable it to help thousands of NGOs and create an impact on a billion people in the next five years.

XPO² assures contributors that every dollar they give goes to where it is needed and is used to make the maximum net social impact possible. With this idea, the company hopes to bring back people’s trust to charities and fundraising, and create a pool of contributors who will give repeatedly to worthy NGOs and their causes.

For the XPO2 CEO, tapping even just 1 percent of the projected sales from e-commerce could already go a long way in addressing social issues around the world. The potential of XPO2 can already be seen—only three months in from the time of incorporation, XPO2 has led outreach works in both Africa and Asia. And as part of the transparent market businesses, XPO2 can fully showcase where a consumer’s money goes.

So if you’re looking for a meaningful opportunity to invest on, consider looking into impact investments. Not only would you get the chance to earn a comfortable margin in the future, but you also get the chance to change people’s lives for the better.

Published by Mary Charli