Tools & Resources

Place-Based Impact Investing: Three Briefs for Practitioners

Seeking ways to maximize the social and economic returns of their place-based impact investments, foundations, CDFIs, private investors, and others are turning to collaboration. To support these efforts and facilitate lesson sharing, the Urban Institute and Mission Investors Exchange have produced a set of three practitioner briefs designed to focus on elements of place-based impact investing that have surfaced in research and conversations with practitioners as opportunities for knowledge exchange: building strong ecosystems, mapping opportunities and capacities, and deploying capital on the ground together through impact investing collaborations. Each brief presents the concept, highlights practitioner examples, and elevates lessons from the field.

Place-Based Impact Investing Ecosystems: Building a Collaboration to Boost Your Effectiveness

This brief illustrates the value of building an ecosystem and collaborating to leverage a variety of types of capital from key stakeholders in that ecosystem. It offers examples of the people or entities that can make up an ecosystem, examples of facilitating collaboration among key stakeholders in an ecosystem, actionable practitioner lessons, and resources for foundations and other impact investors interested in pursuing these approaches.

Mapping and Assessing Local Capacities and Opportunities for Place-Based Impact Investing

Assessing a self-defined geography for impact investing can take many forms, ranging from literal “mapping” using geographic information system tools to data collection and analysis or polling that helps a community better understand its needs and opportunities. Regardless of form, most relevant to a given place-based collaborative is collecting the information needed to access capital most effectively. This brief illustrates the value of mapping to support place-based impact investing collaboration. 

Collaborative Place-Based Impact Investing Models: Deploying Capital on the Ground Together

Collaborative place-based impact investing is the practice of mobilizing and deploying capital on the ground together to maximize impact. Although this can be a onetime or investment-specific undertaking, many collaborative investing efforts are longer-term endeavors with formalized approaches. This brief outlines some of the identified benefits of collaborative place-based impact investing, describes four common approaches, elevates collaborative place-based impact investing examples, and synthesizes lessons from practitioners in this space.

These briefs are part of a set of resources and activities developed through collaboration between the Urban Institute, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Mission Investors Exchange to advance the development and exchange of knowledge on the practice of place-based impact investing. Other resources that have been released as part of this collaboration include a study on approaches to collaborative place-based impact investing and a review of methodologies used to estimate local capital gaps and flows. Read more about this collaboration in the project fact sheet and see below for links to two webinars on the briefs.


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