2021 Upcoming Research On Impact Integrity

July 06, 2021


Research question

“How do corporate social investors deal with social-business tensions and risks linked to impact integrity due to their unique position as an impact-driven organisation linked to a company?"


Corporate social investors (CSIs, e.g. corporate foundations, impact funds, social businesses) have a unique position in the investing for impact ecosystem. By nature, they are linked to a corporation, while pursuing a social mission to achieve a positive impact on society. This unique positioning of CSIs sets them apart from other investors for impact that have no formal relationship to profit seeking entities. Even though this relationship provides CSIs with unique opportunities, such as access to corporate employees, expertise and assets, it also causes certain social-business tensions that need to be balanced carefully.

As a result, CSIs are confronted with the question of whether or not they should align with their related company and, if so, to what degree. We have observed that more and more CSIs seek closer alignment with their related company to leverage their assets and expertise for higher social impact. We recognise that this might disturb the balance between the social-business tensions and pose a risk to the CSI’s impact integrity. Therefore, with our research on impact integrity, we will answer the following questions:

  • What are the social-business tensions that arise due to the unique position of CSIs as an impact-driven organisation linked to a company?
  • What are the risks linked to impact integrity due to their unique position?
  • How do practitioners balance out these arising social-business tensions?
  • How does strategically aligning or not with the related company help or complicate safeguarding the impact integrity?

Call for participants

We are starting to collect insights from practitioners through in-depth interviews.

If you are an EVPA member willing to be featured in our research, send us an email to schedule an interview with our research team.

Stay tuned for more updates on this research!

Over the coming months, we will conduct interviews with practitioners from the corporate social investing space. The results will be shared at the C Summit on November 16, 2021 in Porto.

This article was written by

Alessia Gianoncelli Alessia Gianoncelli

Nicolas Malmendier Nicolas Malmendier

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