The Impact Terms Project exists to encourage the growth of impact investing around the world by helping people like you learn from and build on the experience of pioneers in the field. Our hope is that ITP becomes a library of real-world knowledge and expertise on structuring impact investments and enterprises. As the field evolves, we hope that ITP expands to accommodate new approaches and lessons learned, and grow more valuable over time.
Diana Propper De Callejon
Diana co-led the impact terms project as part of her Fellowships with the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program and The Capital Institute. Diana has been an investor in and advisor to sustainability-leading companies for over twenty years. She is a Managing Director at Cranemere, a holding company that takes long-term positions in privately held, mid-market companies. Cranemere's indefinite ownership horizon allows companies to stay private, preserve their culture and values, and continue their growth and development with a long-term view without the distractions of having to provide an exit. Diana has also served as an advisor on impact investing to family offices and is a Board member of Echoing Green and the Capital Institute. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Duke University.
With over 17 years of experience as a corporate attorney, representing ventures from the smallest startups to Fortune 100 companies, Bruce Campbell brings a true depth of expertise to serve impact investors and entrepreneurs. Since 2009 he has led Blue Dot Advocates, a law firm that assists clients operating in over 20 countries on 6 of the 7 continents. He enjoys working with clients as a partner and a facilitator - representing entrepreneurs, NGOs, and investors in more than $130 million of impact transactions in the last few years. Bruce graduated with honors from the George Washington University Law School and summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh.
Steven enjoys working with others to set up systems that affect social change. At Blue Dot Advocates, this means providing the firm with a technological platform to grow and to expand accessibility to legal solutions for mission-driven enterprises. Steven helped to found a housing cooperative, a food cooperative, and Amicus, a Y Combinator-backed startup that has helped progressive organizations such as GreenPeace, Human Rights Campaign, and AFL-CIO with organizing and outreach. He studied philosophy at Yale University.
Seth joined Blue Dot Advocates in 2013 to focus his experience as a business lawyer on helping bring market-based solutions to social and environmental problems. He has over 20 years of practice supporting startups, financings, acquisitions and commercial contracts, and was deeply involved in negotiating and drafting the legislation that brought the public benefit corporation to Colorado. Seth has a BA from Oberlin College and a JD from the University of Virginia Law School.
N. Taylor Thompson
Taylor is a social entrepreneur and consultant. In 2007, Taylor co-founded PharmaSecure, a venture- backed social enterprise that uses mobile technology to reduce the sale of counterfeit medicine and increase patient adherence to life-saving medicine. He has also worked as a researcher at Clayton Christensen’s think tank, where he studied commercializing new technology, writes for Harvard Business Review on entrepreneurship and technology strategy, and sits on the board of PharmaSecure and Vera Solutions. Taylor is a 2008 Echoing Green fellow, and he holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Frank is a product designer, frontend programmer and social entrepreneur who works for Cloudflare - a cybersecurity & web performance company backed by Google and Microsoft. In 2012, Frank dropped out of his M.A. program at Syracuse University to start Centscere - a social enterprise that automated online donations submitted on Twitter and Facebook. In 2014, the company restructured as Cents, an L3C and certified BCorp and shifted its focus to enterprise software & product development. Since then, Cents has developed 2 major non-profit applications: CentsConnect, a free students-teacher matching service with a chat-based tutoring app and Cents for iOS - a 0% commission crowdfunding application for NGOs. Frank qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2012 as a student at Syracuse.
Gabi is Director of Corporate Strategy for JUST Capital. Prior to joining JUST Capital, Gabi worked at the pioneering British impact investing firm, Investing for Good. She also co-authored "The Good Investor," a book of best practice guidelines for impact investors. Gabi earned her MPA with Distinction from the London School of Economics and a BA in Economics from New York University.
The origin story.
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.
The website is currently limited to information about direct investments in early stage companies. However, it has been designed to scale to include content on a number of subject matters. We have already begun to compile data about innovative fund structures, for example, and we plan to explore issues like how to select an entity type for a social enterprise and how to transition to employee ownership as areas for exploration in the short term. Please get in touch with us if you would like to contribute to developing content in any of these areas.
Please also be advised that the information presented here is by no means exhaustive or definitive. Not all of these approaches will be appropriate for every transaction, and none promise specific outcomes. Many of these approaches are experimental, and have not been tested through full investment life cycles. Inclusion of sample terms here is not an endorsement of them, but a reflection that they are in use in the field and could potentially address shortcomings in conventional terms. Our objective in sharing them is only to begin an on-going learning process among people with common goals.