Impact Monitoring & Reporting
Analyzing and synthesizing impact data to help clients develop compelling impact performance reports.
Impact data collection, analysis, and reporting are among the most essential but time-consuming and technical requirements for impact investors – weaving together data management and assurance, market research, and written and visual communications. Impact reporting includes both qualitative and quantitative analysis and is most effective when combined with information about the context of the problem being addressed. Including examples such as case studies helps bring impact to life for investors. Excellent impact reporting can engage and retain clients/investors and enhance reputations. Poor impact reporting can obfuscate and confuse, which seeds skepticism and can lead to concerns about impact-washing. Tideline helps clients navigate the design and development of these reports in a manner that is both practical in execution and effective.
The most effective and authentic impact reports include:
A description of the social and/or environmental challenge, an explanation of the investable opportunity set and precedents, and the connection between the specific approach and the desired outcomes
Thoughtful selection of the most relevant data and analytical frameworks used to aggregate impact KPI data, with an accompanying narrative that reveals areas of improvement and/or deterioration over time
Representative and illustrative case studies of successes and lessons learned to provide additional color about the approach, unique investor contribution, and the relevance of specific impact metrics
Additionally, impact reports should align with industry standards and best practices, facilitating comparability, efficiency, and optimizing data collection to limit reporting demands placed on enterprises. Clients seek out Tideline for our insights into new best impact reporting practices and exposure to a wide diversity of approaches. Our clients rely on Tideline’s reach, network, and expertise to provide that guidance.
Impact monitoring and reporting engagements are structured either as single engagements, or more typically as long-term relationships for helping clients meet their annual or more frequent reporting requirements.
THE EYE FUND PERFORMANCE REVIEW
One of the earliest modern-day impact investment vehicles outside of the microfinance sector, the $14.5 million seven-year Eye Fund I, was launched in 2010 to reduce blindness by expanding treatment capacity of sustainable eye hospitals that serve the poor and to initiate transformation in the financing of the eye care industry by catalyzing large new sources of cost efficient capital for the sector.
The Fund engaged Tideline in 2018 to provide an independent assessment of impact performance to be reported to the Fund’s investors as well as to be shared publicly as a contribution to building the field of impact investing. With the goal of comprehensively assessing the Fund’s impact performance, Tideline gathered the perspectives of a variety of stakeholders and analyzed qualitative as well as quantitative Fund data. Research included a review of internal Fund documents, industry reports and public information, and in-person due diligence meetings with the U.S.-based asset manager of the Fund.
This summary version of a long-form report that was prepared for the Fund’s investors was published to share key learnings from the Fund’s impact performance with the market, including those continuing to pioneer new models and grow the field of impact investing.