Now is the time to connect impact investing and the creative economy:
- Mayors and governors are commissioning plans to understand the potential for the creative sector to chart a promising economic future for their cities and states.
- When surveyed about what’s most important to the future of their business, CEOs consistently put creativity in their workforce at the top of the list.1
- Individuals are backing creative projects through crowdfunding in small amounts that add up to billions of dollars; for example, over 12.3 million backers have pledged more than $2.8 billion to creative projects through Kickstarter since 2009.2
- Individuals and foundations that value art, storytelling, and innovation are asking wealth advisors for opportunities to align their portfolios with the power of creativity.
- Philanthropic support for creative placemaking is paying off as arts and design organizations build the expertise, capacity, and infrastructure necessary to scale their social impact in communities, increasingly developing new operating models designed to be replicated.
- 10% of B Corporations in the United States are in the creative industries, setting the example for generating social impact and financial returns in the creative economy.3
At the same time, socially responsible investing has reached $8.7 trillion in the U.S., and impact investing continues to grow.4 The Council on Foundations and Commonfund’s Study of Responsible Investing found that of 186 philanthropies surveyed representing $40 billion in endowment assets, nearly a quarter of them have implemented mission-related investments.5 The 2016 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth & Worth survey of 684 high net worth individuals revealed a 40% or greater increase in impact asset holdings among women, millennials, Gen Xers, and ultra-high net worth individuals from 2014 to 2016.6
These two factors – the agreement on the importance of creativity and the growth of impact investing — together mean the moment is ripe to focus impact investing on the creative economy through a Creativity Lens. While the best reason for impact investors to adopt a Creativity Lens is to achieve their goals of doing well and doing good in their portfolios, at the current moment, an alternative to federal government funding for the creativity and culture will be a strong additional benefit.