In early 2013, Diana Propper de Callejon, a private equity manager in New York, was representing a family office considering an impact investment in a startup company. But the startup’s founder had no intention of ever selling the company, so an alternative to traditional liquidity mechanisms was needed.
In researching the issue, Diana learned that although growing numbers of people were experimenting with new deal terms and financing structures for impact investments, they were working in isolation and independently trying to develop their own solutions.
At about the same time, Bruce Campbell’s work as a corporate attorney for impact investors, social enterprises and foundations was leading him to the same realization. Soon after Diana and Bruce met, they led an effort over the next two years to reach out to more than 100 impact investors and entrepreneurs. They and their team assembled a library of innovative, real-world impact transactions — complete with usage guidelines and sample legal language — that became the basis of the Impact Terms Project. A number of private foundations and family offices funded the initial development work in the belief it would be a worthwhile public service — as well as a resource that might help them facilitate their own impact investments.
The ITP team intends for the website to become a clearinghouse for emerging practices across the impact arena. By gathering and sharing data about new approaches in the field, we hope to increase the effectiveness of transactions, which will in turn contribute to a virtuous cycle of increased investment activity and accelerated social and environmental progress.