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October 28, 2020 press release: https://news.wharton.upenn.edu/press-releases/2020/10/the-university-of-chicago-booth-school-of-business-harvard-business-school-and-university-of-pennsylvanias-wharton-school-collaborate-on-impact-investing-data-collection/
 
Chicago Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, the Harvard Business School Impact Collaboratory, and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School announced today the launch of the Impact Finance Research Consortium (IFRC), a joint effort to collect comprehensive data on impact investing funds. The IFRC’s key initiative is to build a database on the financial performance, due diligence practices, investor relations, legal governance, strategy, and management of impact investing funds across the world. The resulting Impact Finance Database (IFD) will catalyze groundbreaking research on this young but rapidly expanding field.
 
IFRC website: https://impactfinanceresearchconsortium.org/
The Impact Finance Research Consortium (IFRC) is a collaboration among the Wharton School, Harvard Business School, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business to advance academic research on impact investing. Together, we are building the Impact Finance Database (IFD), the world’s most comprehensive database on impact investing--now covering more than 100 of the world’s impact investing funds.  

Our mission is to improve both knowledge and practice in impact investing. To fulfill the promise of impact investing, we need rigorous and independent research on the topic that meets the standards of peer-reviewed academic scholarship— research that holds up to scrutiny and offers real insights for investors, fund managers, and enterprises. That’s why we are gathering detailed, confidential data on the management, impact goals, financial performance, and legal governance of impact investing funds around the world.   
 
The practice of impact investing – investing to achieve both financial returns and a positive impact on society and the environment – has grown rapidly over the last decade.  But, to achieve the promise of impact investing, the field needs rigorous research.  Hope and advocacy are necessary but insufficient to build the field of impact investing. Academic researchers are keen to study impact investing but have been stymied by the lack of comprehensive, objective, high-quality data on this topic.

Together, Wharton, HBS, and Chicago Booth are building the IFD to allow academics to explore fundamental, but still unanswered, questions on the practice and performance of impact investing. The IFD builds on the Wharton Impact Research and Evaluation Database (WIRED), which was originally launched in 2014 by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.
  
Can researchers outside of the consortium access the Impact Finance Database?

In 2022, we will begin making our anonymized data available to qualified academic researchers around the world. We will make certain data from the IFD available to qualified academic researchers after a period of exclusivity for approved researchers affiliated with the Impact Finance Research Consortium.  Researchers outside the consortium who are interested in obtaining IFD data will need to submit a formal proposal outlining research questions, methodological strategy, and publication objectives.  Additionally, all researchers will sign a confidentiality agreement ensuring that they keep all original data on Wharton’s secure, dedicated server and maintain the strict confidentiality of the data, abiding by our commitment to never release any information that could be used to identify any individual, firm, or fund that has contributed data to the IFD.

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