There was an excellent private event hosted by Coutts last night for some of their high capacity philathropists, and they were exploring the topic of Impact Investing. Even versus the very high standards that I’ve experienced in other private banks in this area, this was outstandingly good. One of the speakers, Jamie Cooper-Hohn founded the Childrens Investment Fund Foundation. She gave four pearls of wisdom to philathropists which are worth repeating – they have every bit as much relevance for impact investors as they do for philanthropists:
1. Use evidence
2. Understand the context rather than impose your ideas of what’s needed
3. Think about the exit before you begin – or be willing to fund stuff for a very, very long time
4. Be an engaged funder – do not rely on self-generated data
She concluded with a quote which is a great encouragement to all of us who are trying to engage with outcomes, as opposed to inputs:
“No battle plan ever survives the first contact with the enemy”
We can vouch for that!