The San Francisco Herald

The blocklong stretch of downtown Jersey City’s main thoroughfare has been closed to cars and trucks from 3 p.m. until midnight on weekdays and throughout the weekend. Credit Piotr Redlinski for The New York TimesThe Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) today released its new “Social Impact Calculator,” a first-of-its-kind tool that puts a dollar value on the social impact of its investments in five core program areas: affordable housing, quality child care, education, community health clinics and equitable transit-oriented development. LIIF is encouraging other organizations to use, adapt and help refine the new tool.

LIIF initially announced that it was developing the calculator as an “open source” tool in June at the Clinton Global Institute America in Denver and SOCAP Health in New York City, two of the nation’s most important gatherings of social impact investors. Only ten weeks later, LIIF is delivering on its commitment and launching the first version of the Social Impact Calculator.

“Efforts to improve lives—or create ‘social impact’—through financial investments are now mainstream,” said Nancy O. Andrews, President and CEO of LIIF. “But the ability to monetize the largely unmeasured effects of these investments is new. And while our Social Impact Calculator was developed by LIIF for LIIF, our goal is to advance broad discussions about the value of social investments and help other organizations think about how they measure their work—their social return on investment—in new ways.”

Over the past 30 years, LIIF has invested $1.5 billion dollars and served 1.7 million people. In the last 10 years, it has doubled its capital impact and tripled its human impact. The new Social Impact Calculator allows it to value its social impact at $30 billion using an “impact by proxy” approach. Read more