Understanding and Expanding Impact Investing in the Puget Sound

Impact investing is a growing movement, with over $3.74 trillion invested in socially responsible funds here in the United States last year. In the Puget Sound, groups such as the Slow Money Northwest, Northwest Energy Angels and Goodfunds Wealth Management are pioneering this type of investing with much success. Yet experienced investors such as Ammen Jordan see an opportunity to expand these efforts.

Ammen (2)Ammen recently created a survey to better understand this community of individuals and organizations and if and how it is growing. And there is clearly room for growth. Only 37% of respondents are frequently making a positive impact through investing though 69% aspire to do so.

The way that most respondents currently have impact is through their charitable giving. Regarding the balancing of financial returns with social and environmental, respondents were split on whether they were a financial or impact investor first. Their expressed interest was across sectors, with top interest in economic development, clean energy and sustainable land use/agriculture. Most investors wanted to invest in early stage companies and companies on the brink of expansion. Of those that have invested, the typical size of investments in these types of companies is $10,000 – $25,000 with a targeted rate of return between 9-12%.

Ultimately, Ammen wants to know what can be done to lay the groundwork for sustaining these impact efforts. Many respondents cited education as a way to build the community and increase its investments, either through educational events or opportunities to have conversations with more experienced investors.

“My primary objective is to create a virtuous cycle in the impact investing community by identifying and connecting aspirational entrepreneurs and investors with the resources they need to be successful. I envision a thriving impact investing community with an infrastructure that helps members build valuable networked relationships and gain meaningful access to related information, tools, resources and investment opportunities through periodic meetings, trainings and events,” says Ammen.

If you are interested in connecting with Ammen to learn more about the results or how you can expand your investments that have social or environmental impact, please email him at ammen@energyfriendly.com

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