Supporting the impact measurement strategy of the Social Finance Fund

On May 29, 2023, the Government of Canada announced the Social Finance Fund of $755 million dollar to support the development of a sustainable, equitable social finance ecosystem.

Three fund managers were selected through a competitive process to serve as investment managers: Boann Social Impact, Fonds de finance sociale – CAP Finance, and Realize Capital Partners.

​Common Approach is pleased to announce that over the first 10 years of the 16-year project, we will be working with the Social Finance Fund’s fund managers, social finance intermediaries, and social purpose organizations to use impact data in investment decisions and to manage the impact performance of the Fund.

The Social Finance Fund was designed through a social equity lens and has set clear targets related to ensuring diversity and inclusion embedded into the decision-making processes of the Fund. You can read more on those in the Social Finance Fund backgrounder. Impact measurement is an important part of ensuring these targets are met.

Impact measurement will also be a key component of the market-building of the social finance fund. Impact data is foundational to a strong social finance ecosystem. Data that is trustworthy, reliable and relevant to decision-makers will build investor confidence in the sector, ensuring it can thrive.

At Common Approach, we believe that impact measurement will be improved by centering the needs of social purpose organizations and empowering them to measure what matters most to them. When data flows from the bottom up, rather than being imposed from the top down, it becomes more trustworthy and reliable.

Relevance, for the purpose of reporting, analyzing, and assessing high-level impact, can be provided by the Common Approach Standards. The Standards make impact data interoperable—meaning data can easily be shared between organizations, even when they are using a variety of measurements, software, and reporting standards.

“By increasing access to flexible financing opportunities in the social finance market, the Social Finance Fund will help social purpose organizations grow, innovate, and enhance their social, economic, and environmental impacts. They will also extend the reach of social finance to underserved populations, sectors, and regions in Canada, including rural and remote communities and the North.”

from the Government of Canada's announcement

The Fund’s measurement approach must work for the world views of all Canadians including Anglo-western outcomes-focused measures, Indigenous methodologies, and Social and Solidarity economy approaches.

This work will take time! It is also important to be realistic about the capacities of all organizations involved. By ensuring the measurement approach meets people where they are at, the ecosystem can grow together toward robust impact measurement.

Common Approach will begin by leading a facilitation process with fund managers and social purpose organizations to co-create a measurement approach that aligns with these qualities. From there, we will continue to steward the various organizations involved with the Fund towards more complete impact measurement.

We are very excited to roll up our sleeves and get started!

Join the Common Approach community to stay up to date on our efforts to make impact measurement better, and help shape impact measurement standards!

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Published June 15, 2023

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