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2021 Annual Canadian Impact Investors Survey Report

SVX released the results of the 2021 Annual Canadian Impact Investor Survey, finding that investors want to significantly grow their asset allocation to impact investing. This work was supported by Impact United, a movement of asset owners seeking to mobilize their investment capital towards social, economic and environmental justice.

The survey was deployed in April 2021 to a broad range of respondents from the SVX and Impact United investor network, as well as peer impact investing intermediaries and investor networks across Canada. Those surveyed were accredited investors active or interested in impact investing, particularly individuals, foundations, family offices, financial institutions, endowments, and faith-based organizations. A total of 95 respondents completed the survey, representing approximately $3.5 billion in assets (CAD).

Key findings from the report included:

  • 97% of investors reported financial performance in line with or exceeding their expectations.
  • 72% of survey respondents were seeking market or risk-adjusted market rate returns, which is largely in-line with global results sourced from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). This reinforces the narrative that impact does not necessarily have to come at the expense of financial returns. Impact performance had similarly strong performance, with 92% of investors reporting impact meeting or exceeding expectations.
  • 45% of investors want to significantly grow their asset allocation to impact investing to over half of their portfolio by 2026. This is a 15% increase from 30 per cent of investors who currently have over 50% of their portfolio allocated to impact investing.
  • 67% of investors prioritize energy and environment as their top thematic priorities in their impact investments. Food (55%) and affordable housing (48%) are also priority areas, with highly investable solutions on the market.
  • 36% of investors report interest in gender lens or equity investing, indicating an education gap exists in relation to equity lens investing, as well as a product availability and awareness gap with opportunities that drive greater equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • 74% of investors say they are seeking a shared community for connecting, learning and action.