In the midst of the busy holiday season and end of year activities, it is sometimes difficult to stop and reflect. As 2012 comes to a close, I hope that you and your families are able to pause and recall the moments which were most meaningful for you this year. For Calvert Foundation and the broader impact investing field, it was a year to remember. Our co-founder and co-chair of the board Wayne Silby was inducted into the Social Venture Network’s Hall of Fame as part of the organization’s 25th anniversary celebration. SVN was founded by Wayne and Josh Mailman in 1987 at a time when it was highly unorthodox to suggest that business could be used to create a values-driven, sustainable world. I was honored to be in the audience with more than 1,000 champions for social and econo mic justice as SVN honored Wayne, Josh and 23 other visionaries who have demonstrated over the past 25 years that business tools can contribute to positive social and environmental change.
We also saw the impact investing industry gain widespread recognition in the mainstream media and among traditional financial services firms. Calvert Foundation was thrilled to be featured on the nationally syndicated show Nightly Business Report, in a two-part segment which explored how impact investing is addressing social challenges. This year we also collaborated with industry leaders on a research effort to assess market appetite for sustainable investments. Released in June, the Gateways to Impact report revealed a $650 billion market potential for impact investing, and a g rowing interest by financial advisors in offering sustainable investments to their clients.
For me personally, some of the strongest memories from this year are the ones that demonstrated how we are all connected. As the nation continues to recover from the physical devastation of SuperStorm Sandy and the emotional anguish of the Newtown tragedy, we cannot escape the reality that our lives are interconnected on a global level by forces like climate change and our basic desire to protect children from harm. I feel privileged to lead an organization that is committed to addressing social issues through the power of money as a force for good—empowering investors to empower communities here in the US and around the world.
We are in the business of connecting individuals with causes they care about, and one of those causes is women’s economic empowerment. So, in 2012 we responded by creating the Women INvesting in Women INitiative (WIN-WIN), the first widely available impact investment to directly support organizations empowering women through healthcare, education and microenterprise. Launched in March 2012, WIN-WIN has already deployed nearly $10 million to support women’s economic empowerment and their financial stability. Based on the success of WIN-WIN, we are developing three new initiatives: revitalizing older American cities, connecting diaspora communities around the world with their countries of origin, and promoting environmental stewardship.
While the holidays are a time to reflect on the past year, they’re also a time to consider what’s possible in the coming year. Looking ahead to 2013 and beyond, I am encouraged and enthusiastic about our vision for Calvert Foundation as we build on the legacy that our founders Wayne Silby, John Guffey and Terry Mollner have left in place. In an interview earlier this year with Green Money Journal, I spoke about my vision for impact investing for the next 20 years. I deeply believe it is possible, and that Calvert Foundation is helping to make it possible, for every investor to be an impact investor. Everyone should be able to invest according to their values, putting money to work in ways that are in harmony with what they believe, and not in opposition.
As we lead the way in creating investment opportunities that benefit underserved communities, we hope that you will participate with us in this growing movement. Check out our blog, sign up for our e-newsletter, or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook!
We’re grateful for your continuing support and partnership, and wish you the happiest of holidays.
President and CEO, Calvert Foundation