MaRS Library Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good: Priorities for Canada
Focused on directing private capital into projects and ventures whose aims are to deliver measurable social outcomes, impact investment (or social finance) has the potential to foster innovation in the social sector. It is spurring new forms of non-profit, private and public sector collaboration, and is being used to develop and test new ideas for tackling social challenges and to scale up those that work.
Impact investing in Canada is on the rise, but it will require leadership from governments, foundations, pension funds, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations (NPOs) and others to reach its full potential. This report advances priority recommendations for governments—the federal government in particular—to enable and catalyze impact investment in Canada.
- Enable impact investment and social entrepreneurship in the charitable and non-profit sector, in particular by updating the Income Tax Act and related guidance, which have not kept pace with these trends.
- Establish an impact investing matching program, paired with appropriate incentives such as credit enhancements, guarantees and tax advantages, which have been used to good effect to attract investment to other markets in support of public policy priorities.
- Establish an outcomes payment fund, specifying maximum prices that the government will pay for certain outcomes, allowing the market to respond with innovative solutions. Social service providers, in turn, can gain access to impact investment capital based on the government’s commitment to pay when outcomes are achieved.
This report was developed under the auspices of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, which was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in June 2013 at the G8 Social Impact Investment Forum in London, under the Chairmanship of Sir Ronald Cohen. It was informed by a group of 24 Canadian experts, from the private, non-profit and academic sectors (the Canadian “National Advisory Board”) and builds on the 2010 report of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance.
The reports of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, other National Advisory Boards and Taskforce working groups on impact measurement, asset allocation, mission alignment and international development are available here.
English and French versions of the report are available below.