IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Building scale in community impact investing through nonfinancial performance measurement


  • Thornley, Ben
  • Dailey, Colby


The measurement of nonfinancial performance is becoming increasingly important in the community impact investing industry, where individuals and institutions actively deploy capital in low-income domestic markets for both financial and social returns. Quality data ensure that the creation of jobs, construction of community facilities, financing of affordable housing, and other benefits that characterize the sector are delivered cost-effectively and transparently. This paper discusses the limited practice and future direction of nonfinancial performance measurement by revisiting four key questions: ; 1. Does nonfinancial performance measurement really matter for investors? ; 2. If it does matter, is nonfinancial performance measurement even possible? ; 3. If nonfinancial performance is possible to measure, what form should it take? ; 4. How will nonfinancial performance measurement increase community impact investing? ; The paper examines the barriers to a more robust regime of nonfinancial performance measurement and posits both that innovation in the sector ought to be driven by the discrete but explicit needs and demands of investors, and that greater accountability has a special role to play in making disclosure more attractive. The report concludes that nonfinancial performance measurement directly informs the investment process and is essential to growing community impact investing because it provides latent sources of capital with market-level information on the tradeoffs between financial and social return. Although the industry is unlikely to discover the “silver bullet” of nonfinancial performance measurement in the near future, there is reason to be hopeful: measurement strategies can – and will – converge through private- and public-sector innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Thornley, Ben & Dailey, Colby, 2010. "Building scale in community impact investing through nonfinancial performance measurement," Community Development Investment Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue 01, pages 01-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfcr:y:2010:p:1-46:n:v.6no.1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedfcr:y:2010:p:1-46:n:v.6no.1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Research Library). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.