Are you looking for a way to use your extra funds to make a difference in the world while also creating financial value? Investing in a cause – also known as impact investing – might be an option to consider. It’s the socially responsible way to invest, and if, as a global citizen, you feel you have an obligation to social responsibility, this type of investing can help you make a positive impact on the world.

Impact investing is an increasingly popular way for investors around the world to use the power of capital to further initiatives they care about, whether they’re faith-based, environment-based or focused on a number of other social issues.

How do I find a good cause to invest in?

The first step in finding the right cause to invest in is simply determining which causes you’re most passionate about or social issue you’re most concerned about. Is it improving environmental issues or water security? Or is it promoting gender equality, alleviating poverty, or increasing literacy around the world?

Whatever cause you believe in, there’s likely a company that’s committed to it, and investing in that company is an opportunity to share in the effort to make a difference.

The next step is researching companies that are publicly committed to the cause you care about. Some companies, such as General Electric, Nestle and TOMS have based entire business and marketing models on committing to specific causes, a concept called creating shared value (CSV).

CSV is a common and typically successful way for companies to both make a difference and boost profits. For example, when General Electric announced it would push for a reduction in electrical and fuel costs and carbon emissions, it drove incredible sales growth. Nestle incorporated CSV by investing in local infrastructure to improve economic development in areas they operate, and TOMS Shoes is known for its commitment to alleviating poverty by donating a pair of shoes for every pair purchased.

While there are many companies that are well-known for their impact investing approach, there are many others that contribute to causes on a smaller scale. There are many tools available online to match investors to companies with aligning interests. Consult with your investment advisor on which investment opportunities are the right fit for you.

It’s about more than just the bottom line

While investors used to focus almost solely on financial returns and bottom lines, the difference their contribution could make is becoming an increasingly important factor to consider when choosing where to invest, and for good reason! By leveraging the power of capital, considerable progress can be made to improving social and environmental issues around the world.

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